TV anger after aerial move

THOUSANDS of homes across Ipswich could be without their TVs after an aerial was moved just 270 metres across the road.

THOUSANDS of homes across Ipswich could be without their TVs after an aerial was moved just 270 metres across the road.

The aerial has sat on top of the Ipswich Borough Council's Civic Centre building since 1982 but following their move to premises in Russell Road, in September, it could no longer remain on the roof.

Instead on October 18 owners, Arqiva, arranged to move the aerial across the road to the Suffolk House building, in Civic Drive, which is currently used by Axa insurance.

But the move could have affected thousands of homes in Stoke, Chantry, Maidenhall and the Gippeswyk and Holywells Park areas where the booster covers.

And there is more bad news for residents because it means many will have to pay out to get their aerials re-adjusted.

Fred Smy, who lives in Wherstead Road, is one of those who has been affected.

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He said: “For about two weeks now the signal has been awful. It is barely watch-able.

“There is such a bad picture that the other night my wife had to go to bed with a headache she couldn't watch it any more.

“Somebody should definitely have told us this was going to happen. It is unacceptable.”

But Arqiva, who works as transmission services for broadcasters, say they did not alert people to the move because they thought thousands of residents may pay out for work that was not needed.

Bruce Randall, of Arqiva, said: “The aerial was only being moved over the road and it was at a similar height.

“We made the decision that it probably wouldn't affect too many residents so we did not let anyone know we were doing so. We did not want people to start getting professionals in for work they didn't need doing.

“But those affected do need to get somebody to re-align their aerials.

“We would have been happy to leave the aerial where it was but we had not choice in moving it.”

Mr Randall said bad picture quality is not the responsibility of Arqiva and those affected will need to pay themselves to have the problem corrected.

Paul King, of Aerial Vision, in Darwin Road, said he has had about four times the usual amount of calls for aerial problems since the move.

He said: “It has mainly been the houses closer to the aerial that have had the most problems because of it.

“I should imagine there will be a few more when people realise what the problem is as not many seem to. I didn't realise what had happened until I contacted Ofcom so how residents know I am not sure.”

Mr King said a straight forward re-alignment should cost around £50.

A spokesman for Ofcom said: “There were more people than expected who have been left with their aerials pointing in the wrong direction because of the move.

“Now it's about individuals having to move their aerials.”

N Has your television signal been affected? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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