Donegal North East Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue has welcomed confirmation that Saorview coverage levels will be further enhanced in remote areas by the addition of a number of new transmitter sites.
Saorview is the new national digital TV network which is being rolled out nationwide since May 2011 in advance of the analogue service being switched off on the 24th October 2012. Deputy McConalogue has been critical of reports that 2% of the population would be unable to access the service.
“Clonmany was among the areas that it was thought would be unable to access Saorview. However RTE NL has announced that an additional transmitter will be built in Clonmany as part of a further nine new sites to be added around the country. This will ensure that those living in the area will now be able to access the service,” said Deputy McConalogue.
Saorstat, the satellite-delivered infill solution for the remaining households who cannot receive the terrestrial Saorview coverage, has also been officially launched. This should ensure that anyone unable to access the Saorview service will be able to access television channels using satellite regardless of where they are located.
Deputy McConalogue said, “I am delighted that RTÉ have taken notice of rural Ireland in this instance. It is only right that Clonmany and all of Inishowen have access to Saorview the free-to-air digital television service. A public meeting was called by the local community last summer when it became clear that there was likely to be coverage issues with the new Saorview service locally. Following this I pressed RTE continuously on the need for an additional transmitter in the area. It is to RTE NL’s credit that they have listened and taken the views of local people on board by now agreeing to erect an additional transmitter to ensure the best possible Saorview coverage in the area.
“I would like to commend the local community for coming together to show their strong will in relation to this issue and particularly local resident Sean Cooke for his determined work in helping to have this issue addressed.”
The new aerial is due to be erected over the coming months in time for the switch off of the analogue TV service on 24th October. Further information with respect to the switchover is available at www.goingdigital.ie or by calling 1890 940 980. Information booklets are also being distributed to every household.