Online television services could be used across Europe

Mother and child using a laptop

Catch-up TV services such as Sky Now TV and the BBC iPlayer, could be used by UK residents when they are abroad, under proposals made by the European Commission (EC).

This is part of the EC’s wide-ranging plans to create a ‘digital single market’, who are looking to introduce new rules to increase the usage of online services, such as allowing UK citizens to use these whilst they travel across the European Union.

This would come about by trying to bring each nation’s copyright laws into alignment with one another, reducing the rule differences.

However, critics from the technology industry believe that certain changes will undermine their objectives, so this development is still far from guaranteed.

In a statement, the EC said: “[We] want to ensure that users who buy films, music or articles at home can also enjoy them while travelling across Europe. The Commission will also look at the role of online intermediaries in relation to copyright-protected works.”

The BBC would need to ease its restrictions regarding the use of its iPlayer service, in order for it to be used abroad, and confirmed it would consider doing so. A spokesperson said: “We note the Commission’s interest in making services more portable to UK users while temporarily travelling in Europe, and will begin work to look at the technical and legislative implications.”

Catch-up TV services use the internet to stream television shows to laptops, computers, mobiles and tablets, allowing people to watch televised shows at a later date.