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UPDATED: Latest on TMO Digital TV Plans
We have been feeding back all your questions and concerns to the Council and TMO. We are now in a position to provide you with an update on what's happening.
Updates are in RED and dated.
Firstly, please note that it is the Council and TMO who intend to install this system, not WERA. WERA was not consulted and neither were you. We believe this is unacceptable and we have objected to the manner in which the works have been forced upon us.
The TMO intends to proceed with the installation of the proposed communal TV system in any case. Works are expected to begin on the 14th of February. The TMO have told us that they will be writing to all of the estate's residents with full details of the works shortly.
The Proposed Communal TV System
The TMO's proposed communal digital TV system will provide FM and DAB radio, (UHF) analogue and digital television (i.e. Freeview) and analogue and digital satellite from two satellites - Astra 2 (for the reception of Sky and/or Freesat) and Hotbird (for the reception of some foreign language channels).
Residents will still need to obtain their own equipment and/or subscriptions, the system only provides the signal.
Residents' own Aerials and Dishes
The TMO had previously told us that any existing aerials or dishes would be removed. This no longer appears to be the case.
Existing FM/DAB and TV aerials as well as satellite dishes for the reception of Sky/Freesat and/or Hotbird will no longer be necessary once the TMO's new communal TV system has been installed. The TMO hopes that residents with these aerials and dishes will remove them once the new system is operational. The contractor will offer to remove them as part of these works.
BUT the contractor must ask for the resident's explicit permission before removing anything. If you have your own aerial or dish and do not wish it removed tell the contractor and they should not touch it. This is particularly important if you are using a dish for the reception of broadcasts from satellites other than Astra 2 and Hotbird.
Please note that the Council is still suggesting that it may take enforcement action against any aerials or dishes that have been installed without permission. We will let you know what the Council decides.
Virgin Media (12/2/2011)
If you currently receive your TV service from Virgin these works will not affect you directly. The system the TMO intends to install is completely seperate from that of Virgin Media. Your service from Virgin will continue as normal.
The TMO had previously stated that the cost of the proposed system would be £55/year. The TMO have now advised us that the actual cost will be less than this. They have promised to provide full details of costs as soon as they become available.
The TMO has advised us that tenants in receipt of housing benefit will have this new charge taken into consideration when their benefit is calculated. They may therefore not have to pay the full amount.
The TMO has also indicated that financial assistance may be available to other tenants and leaseholders. We have asked the TMO to provide details.
This is far from ideal but it is all that the TMO is offering.
Leaseholder Charges (10/4/2011)
Charges for the new digital TV system have been included in the estimated service charges for 2011/12 recently sent out to the estate's leaseholders. The TMO had previously stated that they did not intend to charge tenants or leaseholders for the new TV system until 2012. The inclusion of a charge for digital TV in the estimated service charges for 2011/12 suggests this is no longer the case. It is likely that charges will also be added to tenants' rents (service charges) shortly.
The cost of the new digital TV system for the estate is £37,500/annum; resulting in a service charge of £45/annum for a 2-bedroom flat. Note however that the manner in which the leaseholder service charge is calculated is likely to differ from that for tenants. The resulting service charge is unlikely to be the same.
WERA is disappointed that the TMO have thought it reasonable to add these costs to leaseholder's service charges without notifying them in advance. WERA would have hoped that the TMO would have the common courtesy to write to the estate's leaseholders informing them of the new charge before actually asking them to pay it. WERA's expectations are clearly too high in this regard.
If you have any further questions simply email us. If you wish to ask questions in person, please come and visit us at the WERA clubroom on Tuesday, the 8th of February. We will be there to answer your questions from 7pm to 8pm.
This page is published by the World's End Residents Association.