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Inevitable Happenings: Digital Voices 15/09/2012

In the week when Everything Everywhere announced the impending launch of its EE 4G mobile broadband service, one topic dominated comments: the threat to Freeview from 4G signals.

EE’s network won’t affect Freeview: it will use the 1800MHz band, not the 700MHz band which the government is planning to auction for 4G later this year. That won’t go live until late-2013 at least.

We’ll start Digital Voices for the week ending September 15, 2012, with something else, but first this:

Inevitable happenings

Right-wing values slapdown of the week

The debate over the effect of 4G on Freeview has attracted a certain type of uncharitably selfish view, ever since one commenter had the temerity to ask if there would be any assistance for the unemployed.

Gary’s reaction is typical: “I doubt people on JSA will get it for free as Tv is not a life line but then people on Benefits get more than people who works so wouldnt surprise me!”

This kind of ignorant attitude has annoyed a few people, but the best response so far came this week from Logical. If there’s any justice it will settle the argument for good. We’re also easily swayed by a Kaiser Chiefs reference.

“I’m assuming you or on a pretty low paid job then? It’s a myth that those on benefits live in luxury with a 55in plasma in every room. It’s even more of a myth that those on benefits or don’t work. The are more than a few entitled to and claiming benefits due to their current (working) income being below the threshold of minimum living standards so are able to claim housing benefit along with others like child/working tax credits. Hell, if you really think you’d be better off on benefits rather than working, come join the club. Want to see everyone off benefits? then lobby for a realistic increase of the minimum wage!

“Those who are better off working are those who get significantly more more than the majority who are underpaid. I challenge you, give up you current job and go work in the Pound Shop or maybe, take up a cleaning job.

“Low paid jobs (amongst others) are the reasons that more why benefits seem like such are wonderful deal but you are all dreamers, this life is no picnic but hey “We like who we like, hate who we hate but are all so easily swayed “;-)”

4G will wipe out Freeview in 1.9 million homes, confirms Ed Vaizey

There were a few gems in the more on-topic section of 4G-vs-Freeview comments this week, and HamRadioNut suggests that Ofcom’s acceptance of the is just part of a wider agenda that puts its ability to raise revenue for the state above the public interest.

He doesn’t name it, but what HamRadioNut’s talking about is Ofcom allowing Powerline technology to interfere with short wave radio:

“OFCOM are interested in one thing and one thing only – MONEY! They no longer protect our airwaves; instead they actively DESTROY their useability, whether it be the TV band or the world wide short-wave radio frequencies. OFCOM is an organisation that knowingly allows house wiring to be used for the distribution of TV and broadband services around the home whilst knowing the devices deployed do not meet the statutory regulations (EN55022) for prevention of interference to other radio services. They don’t care as long as they make money!”

We’re not sure where our next commenter lives, but it’s one of the many places where the commercial operators on Freeview decided not to upgrade the smaller relay transmitters, so they only get the 20 ‘core channels’ carried alongside the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five:

Chris wrote: “many people in the country cannot get freeview now for goodness sake. this whole thing was and is a con and full of lies. how can you have a town of 50000 who can only get about 10 tv channels on freeview because their transmitter is only a relay station. it’s a disgrace and we should be entitled to a license reduction or free installation of freesat.”

Looking to the future, MJ suggested that the whole argument is pointless, because land-based broadcasting is ‘from the middle ages’ and by 2018 we’ll all be watching our TV via internet connections – presumably over 4G using what used to be Freeview’s airwaves. He may have a point, but we think 2018 is a bit too soon for that.

And finally, we have no idea what L. England is talking about, but we love it: “Inevitable happenings.”

Match of the Day is crap round-up: Gary Lineker may transfer from BBC’s Match of the Day to BT Vision

Balls! Balls! Balls! The whiff of Gary Lineker departing the BBC’s flagship football show ignited a never-ending tirade of abuse for the current show and it’s hosts. Here’s a few of this week’s publishable comments:

Gerry wrote: “The whole MOTD team need to go. It is a tired and boring show – with chief bores being Linaker and Hanson. The Football League show is much more entertaining.”

dourscot (he’s a Scottish stereotype, and proud of it) wrote: “If true this is a great opportunity to overhaul a stale format.”

Leedsfan spelled out exactly how: “lawrenson is a leeds united hater so i want him removed full stop. i like pat nevin, he for me is very knowledgeable. i also like mark bright and stan collymore and gabby yorath and robbie savage. having thought about it how about CHRIS KAMARA???”

And TalkSAFT said it would be a windfall for the BBC: “Lineker’s reportedly on £2m pa. This is great news for Licence Payers. There are dozens of has-been players who want to remain in the limelight, who would do it for a tenth of that.”

Thought-provoking comment of the week: BT calls in the marines to fix undersea fibre link hit by cable thieves

Copper theft from BT’s network is a serious crime that has widespread effects, but we’ve never thought of it as more than that.

Until this week, when embee brought a new slant: “this is a crime against UK infrastructure – an act that should be dealt with using anti-terror legislation.”

The criminals aren’t terrorists, but he’s not wrong. In their greed, they’re sabotaging our networks just as if they set out to blow up a railway line, and it’s more serious than a cyber-attack that would be treated as terrorism. Maybe it’s time the security services brought their big guns to bear on the copper thieves? 

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