Cwmbran home owner ‘furious’ because his TV can’t pick up Welsh channels
A Cwmbran home owner is “furious” because his TV can’t pick up Welsh TV channels.
Rhodri Norris, who recently moved into a new build home in the Torfaen town receives Bristol West England region channels instead.
The Welsh learner, who is not able to view channels such as S4C and BBC Wales on his television, has blasted Open Fibre Network Limited, which is responsible for the TV and broadband infrastructure.
This has meant that Rhodri has been unable to watch Welsh Government Covid-19 briefings on his TV during the pandemic.
He said he was told that the company had switched the satellites to receive English channels after some customers complained about not being able to do so.
According to Rhodri, the issue has not been fixed because the “technical team is trying to figure out how to not lose the English channels in Wales.”
In a statement to Nation.Cymru, Jason Roissetter the firm’s Fibre Director has said they are “aware” of the issue and that their “priority is always to provide residents with great quality service and as many channels as possible” and that the current set-up “met that criterion”.
But he added that the firm is “taking this matter very seriously and is working to resolve this issue”, and said that the television aerial will be “repositioned” in order for that to happen.
Rhodri Norris told Nation.Cymru: “I have recently moved into a new build home in Cwmbran, but I am unable to receive Welsh channels. Instead, I receive Bristol West England region channels, with not a single Welsh channel being picked up.
“My nearest transmitter is in Pontypool, about 5 minutes down the road and I quickly concluded that our satellite dish was pointing at the Bristol transmitter several miles away.
“The problem we have is that our tv and broadband infrastructure is run by Open Fibre Network Limited, and so we have a communal dish. After contacting OFNL and complaining about the lack of Welsh regional BBC channels and S4C, they sent an engineer.
“I was then told that people in the area had complained about not being able to receive English channels, and so OFNL soon turned the satellite to receive English channels.
“This makes me furious, but I am seemingly unable to do anything about this. I am unable to watch Welsh sport and what little specific programmes we have on the BBC, but more importantly in this current climate, we cannot receive Welsh government information from such channels.
“I am also a Welsh learner who likes to watch S4C to help practice. You’d think that OFNL and the people who complained would accept that when you are in Wales, you receive Welsh channels, but this is seemingly difficult.
“As of this moment, it has been two weeks with no results. I am being told that the technical team is trying to figure out how to not lose the English channels in Wales.”
In his statement to Nation.Cymru, Jason Roissetter the firm’s Fibre Director, continued: “The Fibre to the Home network providing voice, fibre broadband and television services to the South Sebastopol Development, is owned and operated by Open Fibre Networks Ltd. (OFNL).
“Residents at this development receive television services through a communal television aerial and satellite dish array situated at a centralised location on the site.
“This type of installation is quite normal on many new housing and apartment developments, as it negates the need to have television aerials and satellite dishes mounted onto individual homes.
“OFNL are aware that residents are currently unable to receive regional and Welsh television channels, including S4C and regional news. OFNL is taking this matter very seriously and is working to resolve this issue.
“By way of explanation, the television aerial at Cwmbran receives its signal from the Mendip transmitter in Somerset, which provides a wide range of television channels. Initially, when the communal television aerial was installed, the transmitter in Pontypool was only receiving a limited number of channels in comparison to the Mendip transmitter.
“OFNL’s priority is always to provide residents with great quality service and as many channels as possible, and at the time, the Mendip transmitter met that criterion.
“To enable residents to receive regional and Welsh channels, the aerial will need to be repositioned to receive its signal from the transmitter in Pontypool. After a recent investigation, it is apparent that the Pontypool transmitter has been upgraded and can now provide residents with a good choice of television channels, both Welsh and English.
“Taking this into consideration, OFNL has today conducted a survey and established that the television aerial can be repositioned to receive its signal from the Pontypool transmitter.
“It will take a couple of weeks to make the necessary arrangements to reposition the television aerial. We will shortly write to residents and business owners to inform them of the date of the planned change.
“All residents and businesses that watch Freeview, will need to retune their televisions on the day the television aerial is repositioned as the Mendip signal will no longer be available.
“OFNL would like to thank all residents for their patience whilst we look to implement a solution to this issue over the coming weeks.”
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