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Byron Shire
April 14, 2021

Mullumbimby 4G Telstra tower disrupts TV, EFTPOS

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A typical 4G phone tower. Photo Extremetech
A typical 4G phone tower. Photo Extremetech

If Mullumbimby residents and businesses are having TV reception issues and EFTPOS drop outs, the recent upgraded Telstra tower in the town’s CBD appears to be the culprit.

Court House manager Laurie Driscoll told The Echo the 4G Telstra tower across the road on Dalley Street has caused havoc with the TV signal and EFTPOS.

‘A lot of people in the vicinity may have the same problem,’ he said.

‘Thankfully Telstra have accepted liability, and agreed to reimburse us for the cost of having to buy and install a $400 filter to reduce the 4G interference on our TVs.’

$400 TV filter

He says the problems with EFTPOS is yet to be sorted out, however.

‘The tower was upgraded from 3G to 4G, which is for high speed data, he said. ‘They need to reduce the output of the tower… we still have problems with our EFTPOS cutting out.’

Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club management also told The Echo that they have had issues with their TVs since the upgrade and that their local customers have also experienced pixelated TVs at home.

Fixed line EFTPOS ok

As their EFTPOS is a fixed line, there have been no issues with drop outs, they said.

To file a complaint, call 125 111.

The Echo contacted Telstra but is yet to get a response.

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  1. It’s not only Mullumbimby that have had problems! Several large areas of Tweed Heads have also lost reception and these new broadcast will go into many other areas.

    I would have thought that this isn’t a Telstra or Optus issue (I understand both have access to the old TV frequencies) but more a federal government one.

    The government sold these frequencies knowing full well that there may be problems – a quick search of ACMA’s website will show this (keywords: LTE interference, overloading). ACMA advised that TV reception problems are only likely in areas where:

    Broadcasts are in UHF (most of country Australia!);
    Where signal amplifiers are needed (most of rural Australia!); and
    If your antenna is in close proximately to a phone tower or facing towards a phone tower (pot luck!).

    No problems if you live in a major city!

    The fix, however, for TV reception is a LTE filter costing about $40.00 (plus labour and GST).

    Pat Bullman
    Murwillumbah Antenna Service
    0423 942 085

  2. Yes Pat, this is a Federal matter. In the old days this was a responsibility taken very seriously but during the Howard era the electromagnetic spectrum was just seen as another National asset to be sold off like Sydney airport etc.
    Maybe it is time for a submission to the Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, I reckon a diversion from the current leadership battle might be welcomed in Canberra right now.

  3. With 24 years experience in the Free to Air TV reception field I would suggest replacing the masthead amplifier that is located on the mast under the antenna with a new one , it may cost a bit more but will give the very best solution. An inline filter is good for distribution amplifiers that would normally be mounted in the attic ,cupboard rounder the house.
    Since UHF came to this region in 1991 signal levels have increased so in some instances an amplifier may be unnecessary and could even be over-amplifying the signal to the point of pixelating the signal. Too much signal can be as bad as not enough signal.
    Also think about replacing your coaxial cable if it is over 25 years old, it is amazing what a difference it can make by just replacing old technology cables,splitters and connections .
    Laurie from the Courthouse Hotel asked me to fix their reception problems one wet,windy afternoon which i obligingly did to give the patrons a pixelation free picture .Some very happy patrons stayed for a few more quiet ones !


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