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Dickson Echoes Constituents’ Frustrations at Lack of Radio and TV Signal

East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson, has echoed his constituents’ frustrations at the lack of radio and television signal in Cushendun, Cushendall, and Glenariff.

Mr Dickson said: “I have been contacted by several East Antrim constituents frustrated by the withdrawal of Radio Ulster on MW. Their issue is compounded by a lack of DAB and FM signal in the area.

“You do not have to live in the areas affected to know that the radio reception along the Coast Road – a very popular driving route – is exceptionally poor, but for residents this is a real issue, leaving many feeling lonely and isolated from society”.

Having written to Ofcom in relation to this issue, Mr Dickson says he received an unsatisfactory response.

“The response I received essentially stated that it was ‘unfortunate’ that many of my constituents couldn’t avail of these services, but that TV and radio services are not ‘universal’ on a free-to-use basis.

“I was told that the services are readily available on the Sky satellite platform, and that mush radio content can be listened to online. However, these alternative solutions simply don’t work for many residents in these areas who will either find the cost of Sky prohibitive, or are not comfortable or able to navigate online systems”.

“Similarly, residents in these coastal areas, have experienced poor television reception, which prohibits them from being able to view RTÉ and TG4. Again, the response from Ofcom was that there is not universal free-to-view coverage, but they too could consider a Sky subscription.

“I appreciate that universal coverage can be hard to achieve, but when it’s a question of increased loneliness and isolation, surely more can be done”.

The Freeview website has a useful postcode checker that will indicate what television services are available at a particular address.

If BBC listeners are experiencing issues, they can call BBC’s Medium Wave Helpline on 03700 100 700 or for BBC reception advice in their area 03700 100 123.

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