Why can't I access bbc.co.uk

March 29, 2011 at 05:09:14
Specs: Windows XP

I live in Spain but have accessed the bbc.co.uk site for several years, mainly for cooking recipes. Now, suddenly, I cannot access the site and my browser tells me it cannot access the server. This only happens for this one site. I have asked friends to access it to make sure it is not the bbc and they all connect immediately. I would be grateful for any suggestions although I am only moderately computer literate. Thanks.

See More: Why cant I access bbc.co.uk

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March 29, 2011 at 06:11:05

A lot of BBC Web sites are inaccessible to IP addresses from outside the UK becasue if license restrictions.. The cookery site may have been added to that list.

Check the BBC World News site. If it is still inaccessible I would have a word with your ISP.



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March 29, 2011 at 07:37:44

Hi Stuart
Thanks for your reply but there appears to be no restrictions on accessing the BBC from here in Spain and my friends all tried it and connected straightaway. I've tried connecting through my usual Google Chrome and also tried Internet Explorer but it just hangs on in for a while and then tells me it can't find the server.

Thanks anyway

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March 29, 2011 at 13:49:41

Mike, I also live in Spain (Madrid) and have had exactly the same problem wth the BBC website for the last few days. As far as I can see it's the only site affected by the problem. Friends around me can access it, and I can access it at work, but not with either the laptop or desktop computers at home. I would appreciate any suggestions or advice...

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Related Solutions

March 29, 2011 at 14:25:47

Hi Martin
Well it looks like we are in the same boat so I hope somebody can get to us with a solution. I was advised to write to my ISP with the problem and see if they can shed any light on it. This I have done so If anything of help comes up I will let you know or follow this lead. Regards

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March 29, 2011 at 15:29:51

Looks like being in Spain might be a red-herring - I'm in UK and have just found that I can't access bbc.co.uk - "Diagnose Connection Problems" responds with 'Windows cannot find the host name "www.bbc.co.uk" using DNS' - is this the same problem you're experiencing? I connected no problem yesterday.


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March 29, 2011 at 15:50:35

Hi Piers and Mike

I'm also in the UK (South London), and I also have the same problem. The whole web is fine but BBC (both iPlayer and main site) is down. This is the only website i've found so far even discussing this problem. Anyone have any ideas?

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March 29, 2011 at 15:52:03

Okay well for mw now back up, good luck guys!

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March 30, 2011 at 08:21:37

Hi Piers and all the other people who have responded to my problem. As mentioned earlier, I wrote to my ISP provider yesterday outlining the problem as suggested by StuartS. Although I have not had a reply from them yet, today I can now access the BBC after a week of not being able to. Possibly it was the ISP who have fixed the problem and if I hear from them that it was at their end, I will certainly post their reply here. If it wasn't them - well - some things work in mysterious ways. Thanks again all you out there for your help


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March 30, 2011 at 08:29:10

There is a good chance that there was some kind of breakdown in the Internet trunk effecting only the South of England and points South. I am in the North of England so it did not have any effect me.

It is true, these thing work in mysterious ways.


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March 31, 2011 at 07:58:22

yeah..I've had the same issue for the last 3 days...I reckon it's telefonica's issue

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March 31, 2011 at 11:15:02

Hi All

Many thanks for all your suggestions and ideas but I'm now very pleased to say that everything has now returned to normal. I still don't know if it was anything to do with my ISP as I haven't had a reply from them but after writing to them, the following morning I found I could access the site bbc.co.uk with no trouble.



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April 1, 2011 at 07:00:04

It's finally come back for me too. Two days ago I became able to see the main BBC page, then other parts of the website as well. Let's hope it lasts...

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April 2, 2011 at 02:31:16


Well, I'm in Spain too and I've been having problems accessing the site. I was able to briefly yesterday but can't open it again today. However, what I don't understand is that my partner can access it on his PC in the same house! With the same WiFi network. I'm using a Mac. I updated my browser but that didn't help either. I really don't understand it. I can visualise the home page if I access through daveproxy . co. uk, but can't get any further than that.

Anyone else still having problems?


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April 5, 2011 at 08:29:58

I'm on Mallorca Island (Spain), I've always accessed bbc.co.uk web site without problems, but for about two weeks I've been experienceing the same problem at home (from work it seems to be fine).

Some times it returns me a "Cannot access the server" error, others just shows the page but without styles (without loading the css I guess). I'm using mac with both web browsers (Firefox and Safari). The curious thing is that if I run a windows virtual machine on the same mac, the web loads correctly ... So I don't really know what to think, I don't think it's really an ISP problem ... Maybe they have made some kind of update on the site that is not compatible with some kind of client configuration?

I hope to find the solution soon, I really think bbc news is one of the best news sites.


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April 6, 2011 at 00:40:34

Hi Magraner in Mallorca

As mentioned in a previous post, I can access bbc.co.uk again now with no trouble. I did get a reply from my ISP and it seems it was nothing to do with them so it remains a mystery. I hope yours comes back soon as I use this site quite a bit too.



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April 6, 2011 at 05:19:56

I'm also in Spain (Ibiza), and am having the same issues accessing the BBC site. Any news on a solution?

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April 6, 2011 at 05:40:25

I too live in Spain and own a Mac, I also have been experiencing intermittent problems with the BBC website and Radio iPlayer, the problem also occurs on other Mac devices, I too would like some help resolving this problem as I am really missing the radio.

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April 6, 2011 at 09:26:38

Hi again everybody!

Today I've tried to access from work using a Mac laptop, and I had the same problem there (though I can access from my Linux work PC). So the problem seems to be related to Mac (whatever the browser is, Safari or Firefox - I've not tried with Chrome nor others).

Researching in internet, I've found out that there is a service point open in the mozilla team forum, I've joined them, so that when they'll find a solution they will send me a mail. Here you've the link:


Let's hope they'll find a solution soon!


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April 6, 2011 at 10:33:26

I´m a mac user in Barcelona and I'm having the same problems since a week or two. then sometimes all of a sudden I do get acces, enough to download some of the podcasts I'm subscribed to. I never know wehn or why I can or cannot acces and I find it very frustrating!

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April 7, 2011 at 01:02:39

I'm also a Mac user in Spain, and have exactly the same problem. A Windows computer in the house, on the same wifi, had similar problems for a few days but these have now disappeared. However I still can't access the BBC website at all (any of it) on my mac book - with any browser. This has been happening for nearly 2 weeks.

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April 7, 2011 at 07:10:06

I'm also in Spain (Madrid) and while I can access it no problem at home and at work, I can't access it on my mobile.

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April 8, 2011 at 11:19:04

I'm also in Ibiza and have had problems for around a month. the crazy thing is that I travel a lot and yesterday for example in Italy I couldn't get BBC either. I have tried this on 4 pcs in my house and iPhone and iPad - nothing works! I really miss the beeb. Can't get any BBC site. No problems with ANY other site.


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April 8, 2011 at 14:45:30

Hi everyone I've been having the same access problems on my Mac for the last week as well. So I contacted the BBC today and here is their reply in full;

" Dear Mark,

Thank you for your email.

We are aware that some people in Spain are having problems accessing the BBC News site. We have identified the problem to the Telefonica ISP.
We have contacted Telefonica and they have advised anyone with problems to contact them directly.

Kind regards,
BBC News website "

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April 9, 2011 at 11:34:55

Hi everybody!

Yeah, Mark is right, I've just called telefonica, my ISP provider, and now I can access to all the bbc sites without any problem. They have explained me that they've been changing some configuration parameters to my connection, so maybe you'll have to call to solve the problem.

So, thanks everybody, and specially you, Mark.

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April 12, 2011 at 02:26:11

Hi everyone,
I am sorry to say that I haven't been as lucky as magraner and the problem continues, has anyone got any other ideas? The problem seems to be more with Apple products - Mac and ipod touch in my case and the BBC site rather than Telefonica.

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April 14, 2011 at 15:02:34

We are having similar problems using a Macbook Pro in Spain. It applies to a number of BBC sites (www.bbc.com, www.bbc.co.uk, www.newsvote.bbc.co.uk, www.news.bbc.co.uk). Our ISP takes its feed from Telefonica but cannot think why it is a problem so is not contacting them to resolve it. Has anyone contacted Apple to get them to sort it out with Telefonica?

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April 15, 2011 at 05:23:17

I have posted a discussion topic on the Apple website, with the hope that someone posts a reply that helps:


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April 18, 2011 at 01:44:46

Finally got the problem sorted after advice on settings from ISP provider. This involved changing DNS server settings. If it helps, this is what I did.
Click Apple logo; then (>) "system preferences"; >(in internet & wireless section) "Network"; > "airport" (if wifi - or "ethernet" if direct connection); "advanced"; > DNS tab; > (at bottom left) "+" ( to add IPv4 address) type in; again "+" ( to add another IPv4 address) type in; > "OK"; (goes back to previous page) "apply". Then shut down & restart computer.
I don't understand any of this IPv4/DNS stuff but it worked for my Mac Book Pro (model 5.5).
Can anyone tell me in simple language, what are the implications of making this change such as affecting other functions of the Mac

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April 18, 2011 at 05:04:42

Hi All,

I too have been having the same problems for the past few weeks. I live in Baix emporda. Unable to download anything from the BBC website(Podcasts)
When in UK last week went to apple store and explained the problem........they say its a BBc problem because they have changed some..."parameters", could not explain more but suggets we conact the BBC
I can download to my PC and then transfer to Iphone and they play OK...just unable to download direct to Iphone as normal.
Any info will help

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April 18, 2011 at 06:08:39

Hi All,

I'm glad to have found a discussion site about this very frustrating issue.
We too are Mac users in Galicia and we can't get any access to the BBC sites. Very frustrating. So I'll keep an eye on this site for further ideas and solutions.
Many thanks

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April 18, 2011 at 14:41:29

Hi richardparcent, Thanks for the tip, this worked for me too! I was having to use a proxy server each time I wanted to access the page. Works perfectly now. Anyone know how to do the same with an iphone?

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April 18, 2011 at 14:48:41

Hi richardparcent, Thanks for the tip, this worked for me too! I was having to use a proxy server each time I wanted to access the page. Works perfectly now. Anyone know how to do the same with an iphone?

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April 18, 2011 at 23:37:52

Thank you Richard this has worked for me too I also changed the DNS of my wi fi network on my ipod touch and that has worked too.
Many thanks again

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April 19, 2011 at 07:27:16


Sounds like something is working to soñve this problem.
How does it need to be done to get my iphone working again??


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April 20, 2011 at 03:40:16

We have the same problem - Mac users in Barcelona. But while we can access the BBC no problem on a Macbook we are either getting the 'server cannot be found' message on our ipad or a patchy connection even though the settings are the same on both devices. Given that we have no problems accessing other sites on either device (other than Telefonica's admittedly lousy service) and also that the same issue comes up with the BBC ipad app but not with any other UK-based app - e.g. Sky News & Sport, Guardian, Telegraph etc - it would seem that that this is a BBC issue.

Any ideas on how to fix would be very welcome

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April 20, 2011 at 03:52:13

@ richardparcent: These changes shouldn't affect your Mac at all. Entering DNS servers and search domains are optional. In reply to my own post I have now entered as the DNS on our ipad and so far it seems to be working fine.

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April 22, 2011 at 14:04:33

I tried what Richard Parcent suggested on my Macbook Pro (OS Snow Leopard) but I'm afraid it hasn't worked.
I'll contact Telefónica to see if they can help.

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April 23, 2011 at 06:51:53

Have now talked with Orange and Telefonica,they say they are aware of the problem.........they say the BBC have made a small change to the format of their podcasts.
We must contact the BBC for them to resolve the issues raised.
So,no further forwards then.........help anyone!!!!!!!!

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April 28, 2011 at 08:50:11

Hi again, everybody

After calling telefonica, 3 weeks ago, the problem seemed to be solved, but the following day the problem came back. I called Telefonica again to complain about it, and they couldn't give me any positive answer, just a "we've no idea, we can't do anything about that ...".

So, now I've followed the solution given by Richard Parcent, and I've replaced my DNS server IP's by the Googles one's ( and - not just added, but removing the telefonica one's - just in case, take note of them, in case you want to reestablish the previous configuration).

So, it seemed that it was a compatibility problem between the Mac access to telefonica DNS service. Thanks Richard!


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April 30, 2011 at 03:59:56

I am in Andalucia and I have the same problem. For the whole of April the bbc website has been hopeless. I also use a Mac, and it could be that the bbc license-snooping cookies can not load on Apple. In UK I regularly clean out the pc and the bbc has an enduring cookie connected with TV licensing/taxation. Probably someone should tell the advertisers, because there aint much point doing adverts on the bbc website (outside UK) if the beeb is subtly blocking access.

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May 1, 2011 at 03:52:17

I live in Ibiza and I have exactly the same problems as you - even weirder - Today I can access on my Macbook Air but not on my Mac Mini! I can, however, like you, connect using IE under Windows running as a virtual machine on the Mc Mini!

There is clearly a complex set of parameters at play here and I don't understand them at all.

I have no problems with any other website.

I can't even download podcasts from the BBC through iTunes!

Movistar says it's a problem with the settings on my router - but everything worked fine until about 6 weeks ago.


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May 1, 2011 at 15:39:37

Thanks richardparcent - I made these DNS changes to my Mac - and I can access the BBC site fine now from Ibiza! (I didn't need to shut down and restart my computer at the end).

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May 3, 2011 at 05:37:04

Hi again,
I spoke to Telfónica (I live in Andalucia) and they told me I shd change the first line of the TCP/IP to
This I did and I was able to access the BBC - until the next time I tried.
Then I found that by changeing the last number to 100 or 101 or 102 I was able to get access. Then I had to use another one of the 100 numbers.
So if I was desperate to listen to something, I could.
But it's a nuisance of course.
I'm now going to try what Magraner suggests: eliminating the existing DNS numbers and substituting them with 8.8...etc.

If you hear from me again, you'll know that this hasn't worked in the long run!

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May 5, 2011 at 05:03:16

Afternoon all

Just to add my two pennies worth - I am in the same boat as most fo you (I'm in Madrid) - can't access the BBC through Safari on my ipod touch with my movistar wi-fi router.

I can access the BBC no problem (via the same wi-fi router) through my Windows Vista PC, using any of IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. I can also access the BBC via the router through the Opera Mini app on my ipod touch. I can also access the BBC no problem using Safari on the ipod when using the free wifi on Madrid buses.

And when back in the UK over Easter, I had no problems accessing the BBC via Safari on my ipod either.

So, to sum up, it does seem to be a problem specific to a configuration between Movistar and Safari on Apple products...


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May 5, 2011 at 11:32:54

Guys, I've just solved this problem by changing the DNS servers from the Telefonica ones (, to Google's (,

Just what Mike44 said.

Good luck!


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May 6, 2011 at 01:45:28

Just tried what RichardParcent suggested,yes I know I'm a bit slow......
Happy to say its worked for me on both my Uk and Spanish Iphones. It would however say it only works all the time when I replaced my existing numbers with(, not just adding them.

Richard Parcent....many,many thanks


PS Does anyone know WHY this works????

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May 7, 2011 at 09:46:24

Many,many thanks to all those who have contributed to this discussion. I live in Spain and have suffered similarly trying to access BBC web pages via various Apple/ISP combinations. All have now been resolved, but by the slightly different routes noted below.

MacBook Pro/Telefonica: Adding the and DNS combinations to the existing Telfonica settings worked

MacMini/Telefonica: Replacing the Telefonica settings with and worked

iPad/Telefonica:: Adding the and DNS combinations to the existing Movistar settings worked

iPhone/Movistar: Replacing the Telefonica settings with and worked

But please don't ask me why.....

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May 10, 2011 at 04:02:19

I am in Riyadh , Saudi Arabia ..
And today i am unable to access any co.uk website!!!!
and same message DNS server is not responding!!
noted that i was able to access all the above sites yesterday from the same p.c !!!
any feedback?

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May 12, 2011 at 12:07:27

Hi Wiseling, it's great to at last see a solution for the iPhone, but could you please tell me how to get to and change its Telefonica dns server settings?!?
Many thanks,

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May 12, 2011 at 14:57:17

Just got mine working!!
Click on settings> wi-fi then click on the blue arrow next to your network. Once in those settings tap on dns. Change to,

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May 12, 2011 at 18:26:04

I'm in the Canary Islands, using a Macbook and a Telefonica connection, and I have the same problem... this situation is really rare...

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May 13, 2011 at 13:02:11

What's very strange is that I live in the uk and had the same problem. I'm using a telefonica modem with talktalk settings. Any relation between the two?! The above fix worked for me.

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May 16, 2011 at 09:06:31

Hello again, I changed the dns to 8888 and 8844 and it worked a dream while connected to the wifi network. My problem is that I have Telefonica/Movistar's tarifa plana contracted, so I normally use that data download package and not wifi. Is there a dns solution for this? Should I ask Telefonica/Movistar to fiddle about with their/my dns config?

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May 18, 2011 at 00:04:37

Hi I live in Seville and have been having problems since April with connecting to the bbc.
I too changed the DNS to etc and connected no problem via telefonica wi-fi broadband......at last have the radio back, funny how much you can miss farming today!!
thanks very much everyone for your help

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May 18, 2011 at 10:37:11

I'm in Andalucía and haven't been able to get the Beeb for about a month now. I have Vista on a PC so the advice given for the Apple doesn't help me. Anyone any ideas for Window Vista?

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May 21, 2011 at 20:53:31

On holiday in Menorca - just changed DNS to Change to, and bbc website works fine. BBC Iplayer however "is not available in my area"

thanks for the DNS Tips though :)

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