Elderly hit by TV switch-off because of 5G mast in Mansfield could be reimbursed

Elderly residents in Mansfield who lost their TV reception when a new 5G phone mast was activated near their homes could be entitled to compensation.

By Richard Silverwood
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 2:47 pm
The controversial 5G mobile-phone mast was erected close to residents' homes on Botany Avenue and Marriott Avenue in Mansfield.
The controversial 5G mobile-phone mast was erected close to residents' homes on Botany Avenue and Marriott Avenue in Mansfield.

Eileen Crossland, 78, of Botany Avenue, and at least one of her neighbours were landed with hefty bills by the sudden switch-off, which affected residents who still rely on aerials for their TV coverage.

Self-confessed telly addict Eileen was without reception for more than a day, forcing her to miss her favourite soaps.

She had to fork out £84 after son Shane called out TV engineers to fix the problem.

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And her friend, also aged 78, had to cough up £400 to have a new aerial fitted.

"I was so upset," said Eileen. “TV is a lifeline for me because I have bad arthritis in both knees and can’t walk further than the end of my drive.”

Business owner Shane, 58, felt his mum and the other residents affected should be reimbursed.

So the Chad spoke to the mobile operator, Three, for whom the 15-metre mast was erected, and also the communications regulator Ofcom, the body responsible for issuing licences for such masts.

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A spokesperson for Ofcom said: “When these masts come on air, there is a small chance of interference to TV reception.

“The licences we issue include requirements that mobile operators provide support to viewers in such circumstances.

"The problem can usually be fixed by installing a small filter in the aerial lead to the TV.

"The mobile operators have set up a company called Restore TV to help.”

A spokesperson for Three said: “We work with Restore TV to inform residents of TV interference issues after new masts have been installed.

"Restore TV sent postcards at the end of March to all residents in the Mansfield area that were identified as being potentially affected by this mast.

“The postcards provided advice and offered free equipment to ensure they could continue receiving a TV signal.

"Unfortunately, we now know that some customers outside of the area identified have been affected, and we apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

"If anyone has purchased their own equipment or paid an engineer, they can contact Restore TV, who will review reimbursement on a case-by-case basis.”

Visit the Restore TV website here.