It is believed that around one million people in the region had their television viewing impacted by the Bilsdale transmitter fire. On August 10, 2021, a fire broke out on the North York Moors site which impacted Freeview, DAB and FM Radio watchers and listeners. While the majority of homes now have access to their TV, the BBC has confirmed it will offer some households a refund on their TV licence if they have been without any signal for a month.
Furthermore, those who are eligible must be unable to view BBC programming through alternative means, such as BBC iPlayer and through satellite platforms.
However, any households who were able to regain a television signal within less than a month will not be able to access this refund.
In order for the BBC to determine which households have been affected, addresses will be cross-referenced by the postcodes which saw the signal outage.
How to claim your TV licence refund
Applications for eligible Britons to claim their money back are now publicly open as of September 10, 2021.
Those who have a legitimate claim can do so via the TV licensing website or by calling the TV licence helping.
All potential refund claimants need to fill in the online refund form, including their name on their TV Licence, address and postcode.
Furthermore, it is important that those applying for the refund include the date from when they no longer need the licence.
A TV licensing spokesperson said: “Customers in the affected area who have been unable to receive TV coverage for over a month, and who are unable to view BBC programming through BBC iPlayer and on cable and satellite platforms, will be eligible for a refund or be offered a free extension to their TV Licence to cover the months affected.
“We are continuing to work with our suppliers Arqiva to ensure services in the affected area are resumed as soon as possible.”
Providing an update as to the recovery effort of replacing the mast, Adrian Twyning, Chief of Operations at Arqiva, outlined how the effort was coming along and warned some households may experience another signal outage next month.
Mr Twyning said: “We are working around the clock to restore services to those people who are affected as quickly as possible.
“Using the helicopter is part of that effort and is the least disruptive way of transporting materials across this remote and sensitive environment.
“Arqiva has experience of using helicopters in this way, and we have successfully completed more than 50 projects on our sites over the years that required a helicopter to lift material or equipment into place.
“This is a huge logistical effort involving over 100 people and, subject to bad weather or any other unforeseen difficulties, we are making good progress towards completing the works on October 5.
“The 80m temporary mast more closely matches the coverage pattern of the existing mast than the temporary sites we have built at Eston Nab, Arncliffe Wood and Sutton Bank.
“Properly checking the 80m temporary mast requires us to turn off those other temporary sites for a period the day before, October 4.
“That means some households will see disruption to their service on that day, for which we apologise in advance.”
As of September 10, applications for TV licence refunds resulting from the Bilsdale Transmitter fire are now open and all Britons affected by the accident are encouraged to put forward a refund claim.