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> News >

Council aerial ban challenged

Barry Plumridge is challenging Harlow Council over their ban on TV aerials

Barry Plumridge is challenging Harlow Council over their ban on
Published on by on UK Free TV

The <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.hertsessexnews.co.uk link icon"> link icon Harlow Star newspaper reports today that Barry Plumridge is challenging Harlow Council over their ban on TV aerials on council and ex-council properties.

He told the paper "We're all paying for Freeview through our television licences, that's how it's funded, but we're told that if we want to watch it we have to pay again. It makes Freeview a total misnomer. Why should the rest of Britain be entitled to it but not us? I contacted the council to point this out and they basically said 'tough, the covenant stays'."

Mr Plumridge says he plans to erect an aerial early in the new year and will wait to see how the council reacts. "Hopefully, by taking a chance I can open the floodgates because there are a lot of people who are not very well off who are losing out financially because of this," he added.

A council spokesman told the newspaper: "The agreement between Harlow Council and NTL came into force in the 1990s when the Government introduced franchising of television broadcasting. As this agreement is due to be renewed in the next few years, we will look at the Freeview issue then."

As we have already reported, the Ofcom Consumer Panel, which informs the TV and communications regulator, have flagged up the fact that some people seem to be restricted from mounting an aerial on their roof.

A common problem

One of the most common problems reported to UK Free TV is that Freeview reception is often impossible with a loft mounted aerial. This is a particular problem with the two multiplexes that broadcast in what is known as 64QAM mode.

Digital television is able to offer a greater range of channels to watch by digitally combining (the mathematical term is multiplexing) many channels onto a single transmission frequency.

The transmissions use a system called COFDM, and this can use either 16 or 64 subdivisions (which is called a constellation). Using the lower figure provides a lower bitrate and fewer channels. However multiplex 2 ITV1, 2, 3, 4, CITV, Channel 4, More4, E4 and Film4+1 and multiplex A five, five US, five Life and BBC Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4 use the higher bitrate mode.

A side-effect of this high-rate mode is that is almost impossible to receive using a loft-mounted aerial.

However, after switchover ALL multiplexes will switch to this mode. The broadcasters will increase the power of the transmissions to compensate, but this will only apply to rooftop aerials.

Rooftop aerial bans

Long before people were horrified by Sky's satellite dishes appearing all over the country, the rise of television in the 1950s horrified some people. There were campaigns to stop 'the skyline being ruined by television aerials'. This has led to three situations where TV aerials were banned:

1.In conservation areas and national parks.

2.In some council controlled areas where cable TV companies agreed to provide free cable TV of the main four analogue television channels. This was an arrangement made under the Cable and Broadcasting Act 1984.

3. Where there is a covenant as part of the lease which forbids an aerial to be installed on the roof.

The <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="web.archive.org link icon"> link iconOfcom consumer panel's advice (section 6.31) is that: <img src="data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAABAAAAAQCAMAAAAoLQ9TAAAAWlBMVEUAAADEwsQ8Ojx8enxcWlzk5uScmpz8/vwsKixsamysrqxMSkzU1tSMjowEBgS8vrw0MjR0cnRUVlTk4uSUlpS0trT8+vwkIiRkZmSkpqRERkTMzsyEhoQEAgTcNnL2AAAAAXRSTlMAQObYZgAAAMJJREFUGNNVz8lSwzAURNF+rclDUomNhamC//82CoMTB4MHKRJL4O7O8kpvPvDbQ9Bm+GMMXoUMAOjMBgBYlcmmk33XF3eMOkEInFCBW5EmaTxA4A04tVhqWFwA3ovzDNHMUZbBdXditjWCqpoNXsrBSeeS/pzZvj8NuV+yKBVKxPi4mpFFcc1aue26RtpR8xCt+9J06bnd62TnYOO4YZXmm2hvh4AbTipNlDIBwLF47cMEgPLybw6ewZNkFWNFkj78AKlSTiPof7W9AAAAAElFTkSuQmCC" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.legislation.gov.uk link icon"> link iconSection 134 of the Communications Act 2003 sets out the principle "that no person should unreasonably be denied access to an electronic communications network or to electronic communications services."

Some landlords and tenants may be unaware of the particular issues they face with respect to switchover. There is currently little information available about the level and understanding and expectations regarding switchover amongst landlords.

As new laws trump old ones, it would appear that the 2003 Communications Act would override any other restrictions put in before the act came into force, and would render any restrictions afterwards illegal.

Do you live in a New Town with a fixed analogue cable arrangement, or in a Conservation Area or National Park? Do you hate the site of TV aerials? Let us know!





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Your comments are always welcome. Please use the form below to add your thoughts or questions to this page. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

J
Jonathan
Thursday 9 May 2013 8:12AM

I live in great Dunmow on the Woodlands Park Development. external TV aerials are not allowed under a restrictive covenant. I believe that under a law introduced by Margret Thatcher in 86 British law provides the right for everybody to be able to receive TV signals and when required via an external aerial . Please would you confirm if this is true and what rights I have.

Briantist
Thursday 9 May 2013 9:13AM

Jonathan: As it says in the article at the top of the page

Section 134 of the Communications Act 2003 sets out the principle "that no person should unreasonably be denied access to an electronic communications network or to electronic communications services."

The notes for this Act are at <img src="data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAABAAAAAQCAMAAAAoLQ9TAAAAWlBMVEUAAADEwsQ8Ojx8enxcWlzk5uScmpz8/vwsKixsamysrqxMSkzU1tSMjowEBgS8vrw0MjR0cnRUVlTk4uSUlpS0trT8+vwkIiRkZmSkpqRERkTMzsyEhoQEAgTcNnL2AAAAAXRSTlMAQObYZgAAAMJJREFUGNNVz8lSwzAURNF+rclDUomNhamC//82CoMTB4MHKRJL4O7O8kpvPvDbQ9Bm+GMMXoUMAOjMBgBYlcmmk33XF3eMOkEInFCBW5EmaTxA4A04tVhqWFwA3ovzDNHMUZbBdXditjWCqpoNXsrBSeeS/pzZvj8NuV+yKBVKxPi4mpFFcc1aue26RtpR8xCt+9J06bnd62TnYOO4YZXmm2hvh4AbTipNlDIBwLF47cMEgPLybw6ewZNkFWNFkj78AKlSTiPof7W9AAAAAElFTkSuQmCC" class="xico" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.legislation.gov.uk link icon" link iconCommunications Act 2003

If you signed a covenant, then you are usually bound to the provisions of the contract, as your agreement was "reasonable".

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Abergavenny
DAB: BBC National DAB Radio Off A...
Avening
TV Off Air from 14:25 today to 1...
Backbarrow
TV Off Air from 11:15 today to 1...
Bucknell
TV Off Air from 15:19 today to 1...
Chalford
TV Off Air from 16:18 today to 2...
Chalford Vale
TV Off Air from 16:18 today to 2...
Creetown
TV Off Air from 04:25 today to 0...
Cwmfelinfach
TV Off Air from 00:11 today to 0...
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TV Off Air from 15:52 today, HD ...
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Lisnagarvey
AM: Radio 5 Live Off Air from 10:...
Llandecwyn
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Millom Park
TV Off Air from 20:33 today, HD ...
Penny Bridge
TV Off Air from 11:15 today to 1...
Pinwherry
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Stranraer
DAB: BBC National DAB Radio Off A...
Trawden
TV Off Air from 10:13 today to 1...
Wattsville
TV Off Air from 00:11 today to 0...
UK Free IconMap of transmitters with faults or engineering
William Hepburn Worldwide Tropospheric Ducting Forecasts Atmosphere interference maps
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Briantist: http://t.co/I7uNKBQfA9 Arιel Rona Fairhead has not gone native Fairhead also believed the business was being run more efficientl
Briantist: http://t.co/8y10gIb1Ng BBС Trust chair appears to back BBC3 TV closure Media theguardian com Her fellow trustee David Liddiment
Briantist: http://t.co/DBWZNukll4 Ariel Frɑn Unsworth to lead World Service She will also continue to be deputy director of news a
Briantist: http://t.co/Hss6Q28JYo Article Тhe postponement concluded temporarily at least a long period of impassioned debate from
Briantist: http://t.co/uViGCia4vI BBC DAB Phase 4 Help Receiving TV and Radio This phase of national DAB expansion is expected to b
Briantist: http://t.co/DBWZNukll4 Arιel Fran Unsworth to lead World Service She will also continue to be deputy director of news a
Briantist: Dearest, beloved @guardian why have you made the #android app keep reseting the comments to the top. So very hard to read on a treadmill.
Briantist: http://t.co/Hss6Q28JYo Artιcle The postponement concluded temporarily at least a long period of impassioned debate from
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