Some Freeview Users Forced To Pay

3 July 2012

New Statesman:

More than two million Freeview users will face paying up to £212 to ensure that signals released from new 4G transmitters don’t interfere with their coverage. The costs, which amount to more than a year’s subscription to Virgin Media, will have to be paid by anyone living within 2km of new 4G transmitters, which will cause interference with the Freeview service.

Due to the UK’s 4G rollout, some people are having to pay for signal filters to stop their TV picture from becoming pixellated. It is both simultaneously ironic (“Freeview”) and stupid. The negative externalities of telecom companies shouldn’t be paid by the unbeknownst nearby population. The 4G mobile phone operators should pay for this equipment, if they want to set up the towers.

That’s like having a CEO build a skyscraper that blocks sunlight and asking passersby to buy additional streetlights.