TV Vlaanderen claims Belgacom sabotage

By Robert Briel | May 13, 2009

The Belgian DTH platform TV Vlaanderen has suffered a number of signal outages and claims the Belgacom subsidiary Scarlet Telecom is sabotaging its operations. The main Belgian public channels VRT Een and Canvas/Ketnet were off the air for many hours.

During a 10 day period there were five power outages at the Scarlet uplink facility in Vilvoorde, which disrupted the TV Vlaanderen signals on satellite. The DTH platform has outsourced its uplink activities to Dutch KPN, which in turn has contracted Scarlet in Belgium.

According to local press reports TV Vlaanderen CEO Kurt Pauwels blames Belgacom for the outages, claiming the disruption of the services was timed at the same moment that Scarlet announced the intention to launch its own digital TV services.

Pauwels believes the disruptions were intentional. In order to prevent the same situation from happening again, TV Vlaanderen has now a mobile uplink facility on stand-by should any further disruption of services occur.
A spokesperson for Scarlet denied the any intentional wrong doing, saying the power outages also affected a number of its own clients.

The company said it was a matter of “an unfortunate confluence of circumstances.”