An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a unique identifier assigned to each device (computer, tablet, etc.) connected to the Internet. It is used for communication between your device and the different websites you visit. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) assign an IP address to each device connected to its network. Note that Public IP addresses are not permanent; if you take your laptop to a local coffee shop and use its Wi-Fi, your Public IP address will change. And if you take your tablet on vacation, you will be assigned a new Public IP from whichever provider you use to access the Internet in your holiday spot.
The IP address also denotes the geographic location of the device. For many reasons, a website may want to restrict access to users in a certain geographic area. For CBC.ca, that often means IP geo-fencing some of our content. CBC uses IP geo-fencing to restrict some video and audio to those Public IP address located within Canada, when we only have rights to stream that content in Canada. We use Public IP addresses to determine whether the device that is seeking to stream our restricted content is in Canada or not.
There are times when someone in Canada can be assigned a non-Canadian IP. If your provider uses out-of-country servers, you may be assigned an IP from that country, rather than Canada. If you are trying to access content while at work, and your company is internationally based, it may use non-Canadian servers. If you are using any anonymizers such as VPN or proxy services, you will be blocked from accessing content on CBC.ca. You will need to disconnect such systems in order to stream live or on-demand content. And if you purchased a phone or tablet from another country, you may have hardware in it that assigns permanently a non-Canadian location.
If you are in Canada and receiving an error message indicating that content is not available in your area, please first check that your IP address is Canadian at either freegeoip.net or ip-api.com.
If it is not Canadian, you can contact your ISP to ask for a new Canadian IP.