SITE operators for the Bilsdale transmitter have revealed that they have now moved into their new North East offices in a new update.

Arqiva say the offices are a shared facility and it has awarded them with six work stations which they have said will allow them to work closer to the crisis.

When they announced the move at the start of the month, chief executive of Paul Donovan, said the move was made to curb rumours that the infrastructure company was far removed from the events in the North East.

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Mr Donovan said at the time: “We know that there has been some coverage of people saying ‘well these people are coming up from Winchester and what do they know about anything that’s going on here.’ So we wanted to address that issue.

In an update provided by Arqiva today, Mr Donovan added: “I am talking to you today from our new office at Surtees Business Park just outside Stockton, it’s a shared office facility, we have a dedicated space with six work stations, access to a canteen and a meeting room.

“This is where people who are working in the region from other parts of Arqiva be productive and have meetings, I’ve been meeting with some charity partners in the region today, as well as having a visit to the Bilsdale site which is about 35 minutes from here.”

In the update Arqiva also demonstrated their efforts to communicate and help those still without signal after the temporary mast went live.

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Arqiva have claimed that more than 8,500 people have called their free-phone line to speak to an agent and get the right advice as to what they need to do next.

The site boss also revealed that around 15,000 homes are still within a “not-spot” area, but explained that Arqiva had recently issued £50 vouchers that residents can use to purchase a streaming stick.

Arqiva say that more than 1,000 homes have redeemed the voucher offer.

Mr Donovan said: “For people who are in the areas without coverage, that’s around 15,000 homes, we sent a £50 Currys voucher, encouraging them to redeem that for an internet device they can put in their TV so they can access TV services via the internet

“In those areas that are the not-spots for coverage, we know they’re going to be numbers of people who are the most vulnerable members of society.

“Sometimes vulnerable by age, sometimes by circumstance and despite the fact that they have received a dedicated voucher from us, they may not know what to do with it.

“So we have been working with a range of charity partners across the region who in the coming weeks will actually be reaching out to those communities, providing them with support and advice either to contact us or to help them redeem the vouchers in the best possible way to meet their needs.”

Mr Donovan also reassured that work was continuing to find additional “infill” sites that Arqiva can use to return signals to more people.

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Mr Donovan said: “We’ve been working hard to identify a range of additional infill sites that can actually bring areas outside of the range of the temporary mast into coverage.”


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