Nearly two million homes face disruption to their digital TV signal because of interference from new mobile services, with fears that a government help scheme to combat the problem will fall short.
Up to 10,000 homes will no longer be able to receive Freeview at all and will have to get cable or satellite TV if they do not already have it. TV signals will be affected because the spectrum being used by the new 4G services (800 MHz) is next to spectrum used for TV services provided by Freeview. Households within 2km of a 4G mast are expected to be disrupted.
Broadcasters are urging the government to use money from the auctioning of 4G spectrum to telecoms companies to pay for solving the problem, arguing that a proposed £180m (€221m) help scheme will not be enough.
The auction of the high-speed 4G spectrum is expected to raise between £2bn and £3bn for the government.
John Tate, the BBC’s director of policy and strategy said: “4G is a great development but should not be allowed to interfere with people’s TV reception. There are plans in place that aim to reduce this interference but we believe that sufficient money should be deducted from the 4G auction proceeds to prevent it altogether. This is based on the established principle that the polluter pays.”