Signage at a Telstra store in Sydney
Signage at a Telstra store in Sydney JOEL CARRETT

TV reception dramas plague Grafton

With reports of TV reception issues in Grafton, the Australian Communication Media Authority (ACMA) said the work mobile carriers have been conducting in the area recently would not have impacted TV reception.

"Telstra confirmed that they had rolled out 4G services in the Grafton area but these services had been rolled out earlier in the year,” a ACMA spokesman said.

"Telstra confirmed that they had carried out some work to replace a faulty Remote Radio Unit (RRU) at one of their 4G sites in Grafton several weeks ago, but that that this work would not have resulted in any impact on TV reception in the Grafton area.

"Some households in regional areas have been experiencing TV reception difficulties over the past year due to the rollout of large numbers of mobile broadband 4G base stations in spectrum below 1 GHz. While 4G base stations have been rolled out to many thousands of sites, the ACMA is aware of only a relatively small number of locations where some viewers have been experiencing TV reception difficulties due to 4G rollout.”

The ACMA spokesman said households within a 1km radio of the mobile base station, use a masthead or distribution amplifier and have their antenna pointed towards the mobile 4G base may experience reception difficulties.

"Masthead and distribution amplifiers are used to increase the strength of signals received at a television set in areas that receive weaker signals from a distant broadcasting site. Reception problems can occur when the masthead amplifiers (signal boosters) pick up signals from frequencies outside of those designated for TV broadcasting,” he said.

"The new mobile broadband services have been rolled out in the frequency range that had been previously used for TV broadcasting (694-820 MHz). The strong 4G signals can overload a household's masthead or distribution amplifier, resulting in bad pixelation or loss of all channels.”

ACMA recommended that if people were experiencing difficulties, they should contact an experience installer who can check the antenna system and determine is the issue is caused by 4G services and address the issue.



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