Bilsdale TV mast: 23,000 homes still without TV services after temporary mast switched on

Around 23,000 homes across the region are still without TV despite the switch-on of the new temporary mast at Bilsdale.

By Duncan Atkins
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 2:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th October 2021, 2:18 pm

But an estimated 23,000 properties are believed to falling into 'not-spot areas' where TV services are still affected,

A guide, published today, on how to do this can be found here.

Promoting the Bilsdale helpline - Gavin Coleman, Community Development Co-ordinator at Thirteen Group Rosie Mowatt, head of communications Arqiva and Helen Hunter, chief exec North Yorkshire & Darlington Age UK.

Arqiva, which operates the moorland mast, has acknowleged that a lot more work needs to be done.

What Arqiva has said today

* The site is now live, with more details of how to get help and who is eligible in the initial stage

* Eligible groups will have access to a freephone number and the option to book engineers to visit their homes

* Vouchers will be sent out to help households in the not-spot areas restore their TV services.

Specific groups of affected people are being prioritised at this stage, and local charities in North Yorkshire, Tees Valley and County Durham are helping Arqiva reach them.

The specific groups being prioritised are those over 65, the clinically vulnerable and other vulnerable people with carers.

For these groups, a freephone line is available for help – 0800 121 4828 - and engineers can be scheduled to visit the homes of people in those affected areas and in those groups.

In addition, people living in the not-spot areas where services are not restored by the switch on will receive a voucher, which can be redeemed in store and online - details to follow.

The value covers the cost of an alternative fix which can be chosen from a range of products which will provide ways to receive free to air TV, including a Roku stick device and an Amazon Fire TV Stick. Letters will be sent out to homes on how to claim the vouchers.

An online form will also available for completion by those in the priority categories, and news and other updates are on the site.

Further help and support will follow and will be announced in due course, and Arqiva is working closely with local authorities, housing associations and charities to track down those affected and to provide support and information.

Paul Donovan, Arqiva’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “I want to pay tribute to the work and commitment of our teams working around the clock on the moor at Bilsdale to get this temporary mast finished quickly and safely.

"It is an important step in Project Restore to getting services back across the region, but there is much more work to be done.

“We remain absolutely committed to supporting the most vulnerable people affected by the loss of TV services, and today we are setting out our latest steps to do just that, working with our partners.”