Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Many Wexford families left with blank television screens after digital switchover - Gaughan

While the digital switchover seems to have been a success in most areas, a spokesperson for local Sinn Féin has warned that many communities have been left in the dark.  Dominick Gaughan said that many Wexford families are unable to receive the Saorview signal and will instead have to pay up to €400 for an inferior satellite service.

"Many Wexford families cannot receive the Saorview signal (Digital TV through an aerial)," Mr Gaughan said.  "To receive the free digital service these households will have to pay approximately €350 -  €400 to install Saorsat (Digital TV through a satellite).  Ultimately this more expensive system is actually inferior as it does not allow the customer to receive the full service.  TV3 and 3e are not carried on Saorsat."

"Two percent of the population cannot receive Saorview.  Out of 300,000 people with analogue TVs, that figure represents 6000 households."

"Communities known to be affected which may struggle to get Saorview in County Wexford include Carrigbyrne hill, Ballyhack, Coolerin (outside Campile), areas around Templeidugian, Newtown (outside Rathnure), Rose town and Kyle just outside Bunclody, large parts of Craanford, Cumerduff, Annagh gap, Ballythomas hill, parts of Tara hill, Ballyfad, Ballyteigue, Killinerian, large parts of Oulart and Ballycale south of Gorey.  Shrule and Monasootha outside Camolin which had a transmitter for analogue are also affected."

"Recently when this issue was raised in the Dail local Fine Gael Minister Paul Kehoe made light of the situation, suggesting that he would give the deputy who raised the question a 'big aerial' to bring home with him.  Perhaps Minister Kehoe is out of touch with the economic realities faced by ordinary families in this state.  The Saorsat system, the only alternative for those unable to receive Saorview, is expensive, offers an inferior package and has been known for its poor signal in many areas."

"The government promised to ease the entire population over to digital before the analogue service was switched off.  Two percent of the population were left behind in the dark.  They must be assisted immediately."

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