Government plans to sell off the 4G mobile network will put more money into the pocket of Rupert Murdoch as people will have to change to satellite services to be able to watch television.
In 2013 Ofcom will be auctioning off the 4G mobile broadband networks to mobile phone operators. It has been reported that households currently receiving the digital signal for Freeview could face disruption to their service due to interference from the 4G network and some areas unable to receive any signal at all.
In response to questions from West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper, Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, writes:
‘Homes experiencing interference with Freeview will now have to add yet another box to each set in their house while [A number of] households may need to change their platforms altogether, which would mean shifting from Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) to cable or satellite viewing, and this will be funded by the help scheme.’
In response to this news MP Rosie said:
“The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is like the gift that keeps on giving for Rupert Murdoch with some households now having to sign up to get satellite television if they want to watch any television at all.
“It seems absolutely ludicrous that we go through the Digital switchover with all the expense this involved. Then within a few years households could be plunged into a TV blackout with the Government’s sale of the 4G mobile network.
“According to Ofcom maps, there are areas of Skelmersdale in West Lancashire that will not receive a signal at all. What is far from clear is whether the Government is planning to meet the cost of those having to transfer to satellite or cable services will be paid for ever or for a short time, leaving families meeting the cost of watching TV? I doubt the Government will meet the long term bill as experts in the field believe the £180 million help scheme is massively underfunded as it is.