Digital Television Reception (Baxenden)

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 22nd November 2012.

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Photo of Graham Jones Graham Jones Opposition Assistant Whip (Commons) 9:30 am, 22nd November 2012

What steps her Department is taking to address problems with digital television reception in Baxenden.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

There are a few factors that could affect reception in Baxenden, but I gather that the most likely cause is a wind farm—I do not know whether that information is available to the Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, my hon. Friend Mr Hayes.

Photo of Graham Jones Graham Jones Opposition Assistant Whip (Commons)

I am grateful to the Minister, who is up to date on the matter. Baxenden, of course, has a weak signal from the Winter Hill transmitter, which has been identified by his Department as one of those that will be most adversely affected by the 4G roll-out. That will affect my constituency because the weak signal spans right across it. He is correct, because over the weekend scientific evidence indicated that the wind farm was the problem. I add that more turbines would probably alleviate the situation. What will he do to clarify the legal responsibility in this case and how my residents can get compensation in cases where it could be the wind farm or 4G that is the cause?

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

As I understand it, mitigating the impact of the wind farm is the responsibility of its operator, which is now communicating with residents and providing solutions, such as moving aerials so that they can pick up signals from the alternative transmitter. As he correctly says, interference is not caused by 4G, because of course the 4G that could interfere with digital televisions signals has not yet been deployed.