back to article Minister of Fun bends Ofcom's ear on Freeview-4G knockout

Culture minister Ed Vaizey has published an open letter to Ofcom broadly supporting the regulator's efforts to mitigate disruption to Freeview by next-gen mobile broadband. When LTE (4G telephony) kicks in there's likely to be some interference in the neighbouring TV channels, so £180m of the money raised from selling the …

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Anonymous Coward

Crystal clear then

or at least it will be if you have a filter, or a cable or a sat dish or none of these.

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Anonymous Coward

The auction should happen first.

Then the companies should have to pick up all the cost of mitigating the problem out of their own pockets. If the prospect of that means they don't spend as much in the auction as they would have done, then so be it. At least any unforeseen problems or cost overruns would be left with the polluter, not the taxpayer.

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Silver badge

Re: The auction should happen first.

Nice idea, founded on common sense. But this is OFCOM we're talking about.

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Re: The auction should happen first.

Your logic is incorrect. If they don't pay as much in the auction then its the taxpayer that doesn't get so much money. And the operators get to choose much they don't pay, So either way, the taxpayer pays. The only question is that via the auction or via the handout.

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Flame

TEN THOUSAND bloody quid?

If your home(s) need that much work done to keep your haunted fish tanks going, you can pay it your bloody self! Or download it. Or read a book.

Or stick it on parliamentary expenses.

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Re: TEN THOUSAND bloody quid?

I guess that is indicative of government. They think it costs £10k to install a freesat box and dish.

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Re: TEN THOUSAND bloody quid?

"They think it costs £10k to install a freesat box and dish"

That's what their accountants told them to claim.

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Boffin

Re: TEN THOUSAND bloody quid?

Satellite doesn't work everywhere (North side of a cliff or just North of a medium size hill in Aberdeenshire where the angle of elevation of the satellites for Freesat/Sky is only 20 degrees).

In these rare cases expensive measures may be required to provide any TV service but they should only apply to a very small number of houses if the 4G signals do knock out the Freeview service in a way that can't be easily rectified.

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Re: TEN THOUSAND bloody quid?

> I guess that is indicative of government. They think it costs £10k to install a freesat box and dish.

To be fair, if I could get away with it that's how much I'd charge them.

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FAIL

So what about masthead preamps?

A filter needs to go between the antenna & the preamp, and I don't think 60 quid is going to pay for the installer to set foot on the ladder, let alone re-plumb the coax up there. I'm hoping I'm far enough away from a LTE base station not to worry. It'll also be interesting to see what the performance of the offered filters is like - only 1MHz of guard band between the top of Ch60 & the bottom of LTE at 790MHz makes a practical filter more or less unrealisable:( And that doesn't even begin to address the issue of the allowed out-of-band LTE signals *in* Ch60 & below.

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Unhappy

Re: So what about masthead preamps?

I have an extra high mast on top of my house and a masthead preamp, and still only get freeview most of the time (i.e. hint of high pressure and is all goes tong.) I also have a bunch of mobile masts about 50ft away. Good location for a new 4G service, no?

Just how much attenuation in the passband can be allowed before the freeview signals disappear (no filter is loss-less) and how much attenuation will be needed in the reject band so the nearby 4G transmitters don't overwhelm the preamp?

I am guessing I will be one of those who will need a filter the size of a shoebox or spend more cash for a freeview sat dish.

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Anonymous Coward

Question:

I am no expert in radio propogation, so this might be a sill question, but - If you are close enough to a 4G tower to be "interferred with", does that guarantee that you'll be able to get a good 4G connection?

If yes, then surely all the operators need to do is provide a free, uncapped, broadband connection to deliver TV by that route.

If no, then I bet they'll add that to my local lousy-ADSL, no-cable, no-fibre, no-3G communications black hole.

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Anonymous Coward

Prisoners dilemma

Isn't the best solution to tell everyone that you're going to do absolutely nothing and so the only way they're possibly going to see any of the cash is by doing the work themselves?

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WTF?

Couldn't they just put LTE on a slightly lower frequency? It might even have a better range than 800 MHz.

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Unhappy

Funny you should say that

I read on one of the digital TV fora that there is a proposal to move TV from the 700+MHz band and use that for comms services as well. If anyone in government eventually thinks that's a good idea, then we'll have a complete nightmare of a band re-plan, even given that channels 31-39 are currently unused. And of course

we'll then have exactly the same problem at ch49 that we now have at ch60.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Funny you should say that

That would be entirely accurate, if we want the New iPad to use 4G in the UK then we'll have to move Freeview down the dial again replicating the problems (and probably even requiring new filters for all concerned).

But at least those touting the 2012 fondlepad will be able to use 4G networking, by 2020 if all goes well.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/02/700mhz_plan/

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FAIL

£60 to stick a filter in the loft???

Most signal amps in the loft still use normal coax connectors. Are the really saying that the average person is too incompetent to go into their loft and stick the filter in?

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