We take the same approach in managing the at800 programme which we’ve successfully ran since it began in 2013. On this occasion we can confirm that there was an isolated failure when the mobile mast local to your business and nearby customers in the WR9 8AN postcode area was left activated after testing.
After the Mobile Network Operators’ (MNO) engineers undertook mast configuration work and short-term testing they should then have deactivated the site before notifying their management that it was ready for commercial launch.
The MNO would then usually notify at800 of the readiness and proposed launch date. This allows us to initiate viewer communications and to update our contact centre information systems. On this occasion, due to their contractors’ error, the MNO was not aware that the site had been left active.
Consequently, our call centre agent had no visibility of the mast or its premature activation.
This and Freeview’s own 700MHz Clearance changes being in play at the time compounded the confusion and your frustrating experience.
With your helpful support, we were able to notify the MNO who immediately organised a short-term mast lock-down pending usual routines being restored.
This interim measure would mean that local Freeview viewers would find normal viewing restored. This anticipates that they, or through your services, had made successful retunes or system changes for the 7 March 700MHz Clearance events in the area.
As encouraged by yourself, a number of customers have contacted us and we’ve supported these people by sending filters or arranging engineer visits.
We are keen to provide support for those you reference on your site in the WR9 8AN area that have any 4G related interference.
We remain ready to proactively contact those that you can provide supporting details for. Of course, you should also continue to encourage anyone who anticipates a possible impact from 4G to contact us on 0808 13 13 800. Calls from UK landlines and mobiles are free.
Finally, please be aware that our independent work is governed by the 4G/TV Co-existence Oversight Board which reports to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and Ofcom.
There is more information available at https://at800.tv/about/