Freeview managing director Ilse Howling has said that she wants a limited trial of 4G in the UK to see just how badly Freeview sets will be affected.
Howling wants Ofcom and the UK Government to launch a trial prior to the general nationwide rollout of 4G in the UK. She said that the recent proposals from Communications Minister Ed Vaizey were welcome but real-world trials of the 4G/Freeview issue would be needed.
“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,” saod Howling to ERT Online.
Ed Vaizey’s proposals, outlined in an open letter to Ofcom yesterday, detailed how the £180 million pot could be spent on filters and signal amplifiers for those who’ve lost Freeview because of 4G on the 800MHz band.
The proposals also detailed plans for customers in circumstances where filters and amps wouldn’t work to get free Freesat and Virgin Media installed at their homes. Those in homes where Freesat or Virgin Media couldn’t be installed would receive up to £10,000 in order for free to air TV to be broadcast to their home.
We’re waiting to hear back from Freeview on where customers are most likely to be affected by 4G and we’ll update this piece once we do.
Update: Poring over an older Ofcom report from February 2012, we’ve identified the top areas which will be hurt by the 4G Freeview fail.
The bigger areas will be hit hardest, with those served by the Crystal Palace (Greater London) and the Winter Hill (Lancashire and the north west) transmitters most in danger. The general rule of thumb is that the bigger the area, the more people will likely be affected.
Image credit: Flickr user marc.flores