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BBC iPlayer loophole still allows students to use it for free

By Megan Rose

Changes to the BBC’s TV licence fee rules, which have significantly altered their iPlayer service, took effect yesterday. The change means that all users will have to purchase, or already have, a valid TV licence to use the catch-up service.

The change has angered many people, including students who don’t have a TV at University but watch the service on their computers and will now have to pay the annual £145.50 licence fee. A petition against the ruling has launched by a Loughborough University student and has already gained over 18,000 signatures.

However, despite the change, there is still a way students can enjoy their favourite shows for free – with a little help from Mum and Dad.

Students can use iPlayer without a TV licence on some devices that are registered to a parent’s address - as long as this is recognised as their primary address and their parent is in posession of a valid licence.

This loophole, however, only applies to mobile phones and laptops.

The BBC guidance says: ‘the device must be powered by its own internal batteries – for example, a tablet or mobile phone – and must not be plugged into the mains when receiving television.’

Failure to obey the new rule could result in a fine of up to £1,000, although it is uncertain how this will be enforced.

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Image: Public Domain