Status of the BBC in the Republic of Ireland

The BBC have been viewed by individuals in the Republic of Ireland for several years – in fact from before when the country broadcaster RT&Esevere, started a TV service from the early 1960 s. Initially, individuals were able to get UK television through overflow of UK transmitters in Wales on the east shore and from Northern Ireland to the north of the nation. To this day, quite tall UHF masts and even big UHF dishes can be seen on homes along the east shore pointing towards the sea towards Wales and from the midlands rising taller the even further away they’re from Northern Ireland.

Afterwards, from the 70s onwards, areas in the south east and centre of the country have been served by a network of deflectors. These are unofficially constructed UHF re transmitters positioned in rural high locations which would relay TV signals from the east shore to areas that couldn’t obtain the overspill signal. Initially these were powered with tractor batteries that were substituted by volunteers each day or two and their legality was, at best doubtful. In the late 1990 s, the authorities attempted to clamp down on these transmitters since they were paying no exemptions to the content they had been transmitting and were utilizing spectrum which would eventually be required for digital television.

This led to Tom Gildea being elected TD in the campaign to legalize the network, which have been then licensed from 1990 to December 2012 when they’d have to shut down on the roll out of digital terrestrial television. Very few deflectors were still in use at this close down date as other methods of watching UK content became accessible. Things changed quickly from the early twenty-first century when the BBC, and other UK stations became freely available through the same satellite feeds utilized for Sky TV in the united kingdom and several changed to the satellite as their main source of British television.

UK channels rapidly became accessible on cable in metropolitan areas and were accessible on the Sky television program when they started the Sky Ireland service. Today, a UK Freesat receiver functions perfectly well anyplace within the nation where a satellite dish is permitted. All that you need is a valid UK post code for it to set up the stations for the UK region you want the box to believe you are located, in. All of the BBC stations are offered on cable and Sky subscription .

Since that time, the BBC channels have all been covered directly through the Irish National TV license, the current costs is comparable to the UK National TV license. It should be worth remembering though that although you can watch the BBC and associated channels through the terrestrial signal, via cable, overspill of the Freeview service from the Republic, this doesn’t give you access to the wonderful BBC iPlayer. The BBC and all the other UK broadcasters actively block access to their streaming services from any internet connection based outside the United Kingdom.

It is possible to access these stations on your computer, smart phone or other devices, you just need to use a VPN service to access BBC iPlayer and the other channels as demonstrated in this web post here. There is a mini industry which has arisen supplying these VPN services simply because this filtering and blocking has become common place across the internet.  Most of the biggest companies provide a vast infrastructure of servers which are spread across the world.  The reason is that websites across the world operate these restrictions and in order to  bypass them you need different IP addresses in different countries.   Therefore to access a US site you’d need a US address, RTE would need an Irish IP address like this and so on.

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