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4G spectrum auction: Our Comment

at800 is pleased that the results of the spectrum auction have been announced. We can now work with the operators which won spectrum in the 800 MHz band (EE, 3, Telefónica UK and Vodafone) to understand their roll-out plans and timelines and to ensure that any issues of Freeview TV interference can be prepared for and managed with minimum impact to the public.

Even before the auctions were complete, we were putting in place the infrastructure needed to ensure people continue to receive Freeview TV after the roll-out of new mobile services at 800 MHz. Work includes running pilots ahead of commercial services, ordering filters, putting in place our contact centre, working with industry bodies and outreach organisations, building a consumer website, and refining our operational model to prepare for various scenarios in terms of number of households impacted.

This is an issue that will not affect the vast majority of the British public. We will contact homes that we predict may suffer interference, at the latest, by four weeks before the local 4G transmitter goes live.

Where interference may occur, we’ll provide filters to identified households before 4G services go live and special plans are being put in place for people that may need additional support, in a similar way to the support offered for the digital switchover. If a filter fails to address the issue then we will work with homeowners to restore their free-to-air TV as a matter of urgency.

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