4G gets the go-ahead

4G signal interference compensation offered by operators

British homes that lose their television signal due to interference on the 4G mobile network will receive up to £10,000 each in order to be reconnected.

It is estimated that around 950,000 homes will suffer this interference, which ranges from image distortion to the total loss of some channels as superfast broadband is unveiled.

Interference from the 4G signal is reported to be so intense for people living close to the basestations that filters distributed to homes will not be able to block the signal.

MP John Whittingdale, chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee, has suggested that there be a delay to the national launch so that trials may be completed.

"One of my concerns is that the government is making the filters available only for households primarily using digital terrestrial TV,” said Whittingdale, “and yet there will be a large number of additional households that have second sets and they will not receive filters.”

He continued: "I have been informed that 38,500 households will still be affected after filter installation and that, of those, perhaps 18,000 will be primary digital terrestrial television households."

A £180m 'help scheme', funded by mobile phone operators, has been promised by government ministers. Freeview users are to be worst affected by the interference, since failing to switch to satellite or cable providers means they will be left without access to terrestrial television channels.

Ed Vaizey, Communications Minister, has said that some 500 of the worst affected households unable to make the switch will receive up to £10,000 each to find an alternative solution.

The government has promised filters to homes in the affected areas that will block the 4G signal or £50 towards a professional refit. This initiative will be paid for from the £180m pool provided by mobile companies.

The areas most likely to be worst hit, identified by OfCom, include those served by the Crystal Palace transmitter in London and the Winter Hill transmitter in Lancashire.

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