A voucher scheme to help thousands of people in areas still without TV services to receive free to air channels has been set out by Arqiva, the company which operates Bilsdale Mast. The scheme is the latest step in Project Restore, designed to help those affected following the fire at Bilsdale Mast in August. Last week a temporary, 80-metre mast was switched on, restoring TV services to approximately 95% of households across the North East and North Yorkshire.
Following testing of the signal from the temporary mast using a helicopter, it is now believed around 16,000 homes are still in so-called "not spots" and receive only a poor or no TV signal. Arqiva is providing households in those specific areas a GBP50 voucher for Currys which can be spent - in store or online - on an alternative fix to receive free to air TV such as BBC or ITV. People can choose from a range of TV streaming devices, such as the Roku Express HD Streaming Media Player or the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite.
Letters containing instructions on how to claim the Currys voucher are being sent out this week. Residents will then need to enter their names, addresses and a unique voucher claim code. Any funds left over from the voucher after buying a TV streaming device can be used by the householder.
All of the available streaming devices can be found at www.currys.co.uk and anyone wanting help with choosing the most appropriate device can have a live video chat with Currys experts via ShopLive. As these devices require Wi-Fi and broadband they will not provide a solution for everyone affected in the specific areas receiving the letters. If that is the case, then householders can call 0800 121 4828 to discuss how Arqiva can help.
Shuja Khan, chief commercial officer at Arqiva, said: "Although the temporary mast at Bilsdale has restored TV services to the large majority of households in the region, we know there are still those either with no or partial signal. "We continue to work round the clock to fill the gaps in coverage with additional towers. "However, alongside this we are announcing the latest step in Project Restore today.
"We will be providing a voucher for those without a signal so they can buy a TV streaming device via Currys."