Mike Kelly MP asks for answers over poor Lochiel TV reception

This is the 'picture' many Lochiel free-to-air television viewers have to put up with on an all too frequent basis.

This is the 'picture' many Lochiel free-to-air television viewers have to put up with on an all too frequent basis.

Federal Eden-Monaro MP Dr Mike Kelly has promised to take up the plight of Lochiel residents who are fed up with poor reception on free-to-air television channels.

Dr Kelly said communications across the region were a complex issue but the problems experienced by Lochiel resident Dennis Burke were “unacceptable”.

“I consider it unacceptable that Mr Burke and his neighbours continue to be plagued with poor television reception,” Dr Kelly said this week.

“I will be writing to the Minister of Communications and contacting the Australian Communications and Media Authority to seek an explanation,” he said.

Mr Burke, who lives in the Lochview Farm Road area, told the Magnet last week that he and his neighbours experienced problems ranging from intermittent reception to no signal at all.

His plea for help generated sympathy from other FTA viewers in the district who reported similar problems.

“Every day have to retune ... over it,” Stephen Sewell, from Nethercote, posted on the Magnet’s Facebook page.

Tricia Owen said that while she got all free-to-air channels they were “very pixelated and drop in and out”.

Mr Burke said TV signals would drop out “during the slightest zephyr”.

The ABC, SBS and NITV networks regularly dropped out regardless of the weather conditions, he said.

“We are used to having no reliable mobile phone signal and hiking up to the nearest hillock to make or get a call but no FTA TV reception is a bit of a stretch to accept in this day and age.

“My question is, are we entitled to get FTA TV or do we have to pay for it. 

“Do we have to install services such as Foxtel, paying for the satellite dishes, out of our own pockets?

Mr Burke said the problem raised a number of public safety issues, especially during extreme weather events such as bush fires or floods.

Stations, including ABC24, carried news updates and evacuation warnings during such events, which were rendered useless by unreliable TV reception, he said.   

Adding to his viewing woes, Mr Burke said he had experienced problems getting answers, with authorities and providers questioning whether his TV set or antenna were at fault. 

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