Freeview viewers to be charged £200

Pay or face interference.

New Statesman
The end of analogue television prompted sign up to Freeview. Photo: Getty Images

More than two million Freeview users will face paying up to £212 to ensure that signals released from new 4G transmitters don't interfere with their coverage. The costs, which amount to more than a year's subscription to Virgin Media, will have to be paid by anyone living within 2km of new 4G transmitters, which will cause interference with the Freeview service.

The costs are designed to fund the installation of signal filter equipment. Without this equipment viewers would experience "significant pixelation", according to Ilse Howling, managing director of Freeview. Howling went on to blame the government, describing the situation as "really unfair" for Freeview's viewers.

John Tate, Director of Policy and Strategy at the BBC, has cited the "polluter pays" principle, claiming that the profitable 4G business should absorb costs rather than the viewer. Whilst the government has already allocated £180m to solve the problem, Freeview argue that this will not cover the costs of installing the necessary technology.

The issue is currently being investigated by Ofcom, the independent regulator for UK communications industries.