A large number of householders in Galway have been forced to seek a new TV supplier after receiving notification from Virgin Media (formerly UPC ) that the company is discontinuing the provision of MMDS TV. The reason behind the move is that the licence which allowed the company transmit TV in the area will expire on April 18.
The MMDS (multichannel multipoint distribution system ) service is a broadcast TV platform that Virgin Media (then UPC ) acquired when it purchased Chorus in 2004 and NTL in 2005. This enabled the provision of TV to customers outside of the cable network. The MMDS licence was originally due to expire in April 2014 however ComReg decided to extend Virgin Media’s MMDS licence by two years. It is important to note that the cessation of the MMDS does not affect customers on the cable TV network.
In advance of April, Virgin Media has begun its communication with customers to notify them of the upcoming change, and letters have been sent out to subscribers this week. In the letter the company also offers a way of planning ahead when considering an alternative provider by either contacting Bonkers.ie or Switcher.ie, to seek advice on choosing the best TV provider.
A spokesperson for Virgin Media says all MMDS customers have received correspondence about the upcoming changes and the company is also assisting customers through a freephone 1908 service.
A spokesperson for Saorview has been quick to remind TV viewers of the company’s presence in the wake of the news. “Saorview, Ireland’s free digital television service and the largest TV platform in Ireland, is an alternative service that is available to those who are affected by the discontinuing of this service. Saorview brings you all your favourite Irish channels, crystal clear pictures, better quality sound, on–screen programme menus and digital teletext all free-to-air. Saorview is a subscription-free, high definition service that offers the most watched programmes in Ireland.”