UK government pledges further support to tackle 4G interference
Published Jul 11 2012, 18:06 BST | By Mark Langshaw
The UK government has pledged to offer further financial support to residents whose television signal is affected by 4G interference.
Reports suggest that around 2.3 million households could suffer as a result of the network technology
, costing viewers up to £180 million to purchase filters.
The coalition has now admitted that more support is needed, outlining plans to assist householders in a letter from Ed Vaizey to broadcasting watchdog Ofcom.
"The high speed mobile broadband services which will be launched in the 800MHz spectrum will bring significant economic and social benefits to the UK as a whole and to consumers and businesses," Vaizey wrote.
"Many of those consumers will also be viewers of DTT and some of those will unfortunately have those TV services affected by the LTE services unless action is taken to deal with interference.
"The Government is keen to mitigate the effects of interference, so that no television viewer loses access to television services."
Service provider Freeview
has welcomed the mitigation measures, stating that the new proposals are more appropriate than those originally outlined
"Freeview welcomes the Government's announcement of additional support to be given to households to meet the costs of installing filters where necessary to protect TV services against the impact of 4G interference. This was a clear omission in earlier proposals," said managing director Ilse Howling.
"We also note that, should the costs for protecting people's television services exceed the £180 million the Government has set aside, Ministers are committed to bearing the risk of any overspend.
"However, we remain concerned that viewers living in flats, many of whom will be on lower incomes, will not be covered by the Government's plans. Additional TVs will not be supported either. It is unfair for Government to expect viewers to foot the bill to protect their existing services from 4G interference.
"We also believe it would be in consumers' interests for the Government and Ofcom to mandate a trial of 4G services in a limited area before proceeding to national roll out.
"Freeview will continue to represent the interests of all our viewers and ensure that when the roll out of 4G mobile broadband begins next year they are not overly inconvenienced, nor have to bear a disproportionate cost."