A NEW mobile phone signal due to be turned on next year could knock TV channels off for people in the region, claims an MP.
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown is warning that many local people face interference that will block Freeview channels and will require a filter to be fitted.
The new mobile network, 4G, uses a frequency directly next to the one used by Freeview signals and although for some people the problem can be fixed with the installation of a filter which will be provided by the Government on a one-per-household basis, the MP says this isn’t enough.
The MP said: “Dumfries and Galloway has long suffered from poor TV reception and my big fear is that once again our area will be left behind. Anyone who lives within 2km of a mast will be affected by the interference. Across the country 2.3 million households will suffer as a result.
“Many people have only recently purchased new televisions and set top boxes to watch Freeview. Understandably they expected that to be a long term investment, but now will find that they may have to buy something else. The Government acknowledges this is a major issue but the help they are offering doesn’t go far enough. They will give households affected one filter, but that ignores the fact that many homes have more than one TV set so they will be left out of pocket if they want to continue using them. Many people will find it difficult to install this equipment on their own, which means they will need to arrange for a TV engineer to come out.
“The very last thing people need right now is extra cost simply to continue watching TV. I’ve written to Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Communications, calling on him to give a guarantee that all costs for mitigating the interference will be met.”