One of those sites is Veoh, a site that hit the headlines (sort of) recently when they started blocking access to their site from a number of countries around the world including Malaysia, Pakistan and parts of Eastern Europe.
And one of the things that make Veoh slightly different to the others is that it allows for the publishing of full length and high quality videos and is often the source of television programmes and music.
Veoh also uses peer-to-peer technology for its distribution which helps keep the cost of bandwidth down and describes itself as freeware technology.
It is a pretty interesting service and makes it easier for independent content creators to publish what is an equivalent of ‘local access television’ but in a more resource friendly and creator friendly way than Google does with YouTube – although YouTube has the simplicity, money and user base.
In reality Blip.TV is a much better piece of technology for independent content creators as it allows for podcast distribution of those same videos you uploaded to the website – including creating an iTunes page.
But the point of this post isn’t to talk at length about Veoh but more specifically about the restrictions. I got an e-mail from someone suggesting they couldn’t use Veoh in Jersey – that when they tried they got the following message:
Veoh is no longer available in JERSEY. If you are not in JERSEY or think you have received this message in error, please go to veoh.com and report the issue.
Which, to be honest, isn’t particularly helpful if you are in a restricted area – you can’t go to veoh.com to report the issue as when you go to veoh.com you get the message above.
Anyway, I decided to give it a go and see if I could work out if this was true or some localised fluke. I was at work and the computers at work connect through a BBC proxy, so are actually online through a UK IP address – it worked fine for me there.
So I tried it on my mobile (Sure C&W) which connects through a Guernsey IP and I got an almost identical error to the one above but with GUERNSEY replacing JERSEY as the location.
Then I tried it through a Jersey Telecom ADSL line we have coming into the officer as an ‘outside line’ and I got the not available in Jersey message. I tried it on an Airtel-Vodafone mobile and got the same error as JT.
Anyway I got home (at about 10pm after photographing the armed siege in St Helier) only to be baffled by the fact that it works fine, I get the full Veoh service from my Newtel Solutions ADSL line.
But it still doesn’t work on my Cable & Wireless mobile or on my Jersey Telecom mobile with a PAYG sim card inside it – or for that matter my wife’s Airtel-Vodafone mobile (I believe in trying out all the networks).
So for some reason Newtel Solutions customers in the island CAN access this video sharing website whereas customers of all the mobile networks and Jersey Telecom – can’t.
There are a few explanations of that. The main one is that Veoh works on an ‘accepted IP’ list – where an ISP is responsible for submitting its IP address range to Veoh to have the site accessible (where appropriate) in their region and Newtel are on the list.
The BBC uses a similar system to this for its iPlayer and other GeoIP restricted services – that’s why every now and then someone gets the international version (with ads) of the BBC site or gets locked out of the iPlayer Video content even though they’re in mainland UK.
The other is that Newtel Solutions has, for some reason, got their IP address range listed as UK and not Jersey – but that doesn’t make a massive amount of sense.
It’s also possible that, between sending Veoh an e-mail from work asking for an explanation, taking photos of the siege and returning home – Veoh started unblocking IP ranges from the Channel Islands.
Either way – watch this space as the hunt for Veoh continues.
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