Andrew Jones MP participated in a call this morning with Arqiva to hear the latest on the work to restore services to households affected by the fire at the Bilsdale transmitter.
Arqiva have reaffirmed their target to switch on their new, 80-metre, temporary mast on 5 October which aims to restore coverage to 95 per cent of homes currently without signal.
Arqiva has also mapped out where it believes the ‘not-spots’ will be after the switch-on and is planning solutions for those homes the new temporary mast does not reach.
Final checks on the mast will mean those currently receiving services from the network of smaller, temporary masts will have their services interrupted on 4 October ahead of the main switch-on the following day.
When the switch-on has happened there will be a support system in place to help those not reached by the mast.
This will prioritise residents most affected by the loss of signal including those aged over 65, people with disabilities or individuals identified by social services as being in the most need.
Alternative solutions, such as the installation of Freesat satellite services or Roku television streaming devices, will be provided free of charge in the not-spots.
Arqiva is currently training 75 agents to man the helpline which will go live following the switch-on next week. A website and post code checker will also be set up so households can find out whether the temporary mast can reach their home and read advice on what they can do to restore their signal without specialist intervention.
The company is also working with Age UK and the Two Ridings Community Foundation to assist identifying those who will need extra help to retune when the temporary mast is operational.
Commenting on this Mr Jones said: “It is important that work proceeds on the temporary mast at pace as I know that several vulnerable constituents are without their main source of companionship and information. I am reassured that Arqiva will have the appropriate support in place when the switch-on happens. My team and I have been keeping constituents informed directly and this will continue as work progresses towards the restoration of services.”
If you, or someone you know, would like more information about the support being put in place on 5 October please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on the telephone at 01423 529614.