The UK government has committed £180 million (€216 million) to fund solutions to TV interference caused by new 4G mobile services.
In a statement, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport admitted “some households will get interference to their digital terrestrial TV (DTT, or Freeview) reception when part of the spectrum being auctioned is used for 4G services”.
Broadcasters across Europe have repeatedly voiced concerns that signals from fixed base station towers might cause ‘downlink interference’, or signals emitted by mobile handsets, ‘uplink interference’.
“Next generation mobile services are essential for economic growth. They will bring an estimated benefit of £2-3 billion to the UK economy,” said communications minister Ed Vaizey. “There will be some interference when 4G services are rolled-out but we will have the solutions in place to eliminate the disruption to television viewers.”
The DCMS will establish a help scheme that will fit filters to televisions that are affected by mobile interference. Extra support to fit the filters will be available to the over 75s and people who are registered disabled.
As much as £10,000 could be spent on homes where neither a filter or a shift to another platform is an adequate solution.
Ofcom has already carried out a consultation on interference with DTT signals. A second consultation is due to be published shortly.