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Freeview retunes: Areas affected this summer are announced

The national scheme to clear Freeview channels from frequencies earmarked for future 5G services will reach new areas this summer.

During July, parts of Kent and East Sussex will be affected. At the beginning of August, the Suffolk and Essex area will have a further retune due to another set of changes at the Sudbury transmitter.

Then from Mid-August into September, the first frequency changes and associated retunes will begin to affect Aberdeen and the central belt of Scotland. Changes over the water in Scotland will force the first Northern Irish relay in Bellair to undergo a frequency change, ahead of changes across Northern Ireland in 2019.

The latest quarterly retune dates, released by Digital UK, the organisation responsible for managing digital terrestrial television, are a result of a government sanctioned scheme to clear spectrum in the 700MHz frequency band region-by-region by mid-2020.

On the day, affected transmitters will be off-air for a time during the early hours, before viewers are able to retune during the day. Viewers who have lost channels are invited to do a full retune of their TVs. Freeview will provide advice and support to viewers who can't restore channels, via its advice line and support website.

So far this year, viewers in London, the Midlands, North West England and parts of East Anglia and southern England have been affected, with further changes in southern England at the beginning of May. Northern Scotland was completed last year.

Due to signal overlaps and to avoid interference, some transmitters are having to undergo changes in multiple steps, with frequency changes only being made on some services until changes in neighbouring areas have been completed. The Sudbury transmitter in Suffolk is one of those affected, having had a first retune event in February and another one in August. Some parts of Scotland will also have multiple retunes, with further changes in the central belt scheduled for 3rd October; to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

(Users reading on small screens may need to flip screen to see full table)

Area served
Retune date
Bluebell Hill
north and 
mid Kent
18 July 2018
Forest Row relay of Crystal Palace
Parts of Forest Row, Hartfield and Withyham
18 July 2018
Hastings (Hastings Old Town)
Old Town
18 July 2018
East Sussex
& south west Kent
18 July 2018
Tunbridge Wells
the Tunbridge Wells area
18 July 2018
Patcham relay of Whitehawk Hill
parts of Hollingbury
18 July 2018
Parts of Suffolk and Essex
1 August 2018
Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire
15 August 2018
Black Hill
Glasgow, central Scotland and parts of Edinburgh
5 September 2018
Aberfoyle, Cannongate HP/VP and Newbattle relays of Craigkelly
parts of Edinburgh 
and parts of Fife
5 September 2018
parts of central Scotland, Argyll and Bute
5 September 2018
relay of Divis
5 September 2018
5 September 2018
Black Hill (some relays only)
parts of Glasgow and parts of central Scotland
19 September 2018

Source: Digital UK