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Norwich City Council defends digital TV switch after families left with no signal

Officers at Norwich City Council have defended their approach to the digital switchover.

Officers at Norwich City Council have defended their approach to the digital switchover.

EDP pics © 2007

A decision to turn off the television signal to thousands of Norwich council tenants before the digital switchover has been defended by council officials.

Analogue signals from the Tacolneston transmitter, for BBC1 and 2, ITV, Channel Four, and Five, will be switched off in two stages on November 9 and 23.

Those who have an analogue television will need to either buy a digital set-top box or a new television by November 9.

But for people living in council properties – served by communal aerials – Norwich City Council has already put in new aerials which will allow people to pick up the new digital signal.

However, that has meant tenants have suffered a television black-out ahead of the switchover, sparking a number of complaints to City Hall. However, the council said the sheer number of homes which needed upgrading to get digital television meant work had to be done before the switchover.

A spokesman said: “We have completed the upgrade of aerials that serve just under 8,000 properties across the city. And we are confident the remaining few will be installed before the switchover.

“As well as installing new communal aerials, access to every individual home is necessary to make sure they can all receive a digital signal.

“This means it was necessary to start the programme in good time to make sure every home was equipped when the analogue signal is switched off in a few weeks’ time.”

She said each tenant had been sent letters well in advance, explaining the work which was required and what people need to do to get ready for digital, while also asking for access to homes.

She said: “In some cases, where we have not had an initial response, this has meant a series of follow-ups.

“We will continue to communicate directly with our residents about this work to their home and it is important, if anyone has any specific individual concerns or problems, that they contact us or our contractor as per the letters they have received.”

Visit www.digitaluk.co.uk for more information about the digital switchover. And don’t miss tomorrow’s Evening News for a comprehensive 12-page guide to the digital TV switchover locally.

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