It was previously believed the EU regulator wanted to “unblock the geo-blocks,” which would in theory have prevented companies from blocking access to their services if a user was accessing them from outside an “approved” area. The BBC’s state-funded iPlayer, officially unusable outside of the U.K., could have been affected by such a proposal, but this is not something the watchdog is addressing as part of its announcements today.
“The proposed ‘anti-geo-blocking’ regulation doesn’t do what it says on the tin,” said Julia Reda, a member of the European Parliament’s Green group. “When most Europeans hear the term ‘geo-blocking,’ they think of the all-too-common error message that ‘this video is not available in your country’ — and yet the measures presented today will not do anything to address this. An anti-geo-blocking regulation that does not cover online video content misses the point.”