AFN TV, radio options to expand in England
November 18, 2003
U.S. servicemembers who live in England will soon have more American Forces Network television stations and access to AFN radio.
The 3rd Air Force has begun a $4.8 million project that will provide viewers with AFN Pacific, AFN News, AFN Korea, Spectrum, Channel Program Guide, the Pentagon Channel, base commander’s access channel and two AFN sports channels.
Homes there with cable systems currently receive only AFN Atlantic.
AFN radio will also be made available through cable, as will country and adult rock stations, Fox Sports Talk and ESPN Radio.
There will be no cost to servicemembers, according to Bob Sisk, program manager for the 3rd Air Force’s Command Information Dissemination System.
About 3,000 homes will be receiving the upgrades, Sisk said. The homes are at RAF Lakenheath, Mildenhall, Feltwell, Fairford, Alconbury, Molesworth, Croughton and Menwith Hill.
“We own the VHF band channels 2-13,” Sisk said. “We will put on them everything that’s available from [American Forces Radio and Television Service].”
Sisk said the work will be finished by the end of March. He said the installation of new equipment is being done area by area. Some people will get the new programming sooner than others, he said.
Sisk said the base commander’s access channel, which can provide special information such as security alerts on short notice, has been available to some locations. It will soon be available to all on-base housing.
“It’s not available to off-base residents yet,” Sisk said. “We’re hoping down the road to get a channel over a satellite feed and get the same information directly to home satellite users.”
Cable customers will be able to receive pay-per-view programming from Cablecom, the local cable provider.
There will be no need for viewers to purchase converters or a multisystem television or VCR because the services will be provided in U.S. standards, Sisk said.
Sisk said that broadband Internet service might become available in the future over the CIDS system.