Sun outages expected from Oct. 5-13

Dear BendBroadband customers,

Each spring and fall, TV service for TDS customers experience a technical phenomenon called “sun outages.” This fall, the solar satellite interference are expected from Oct. 5-13.

Solar interference happens when the sun’s path across the sky gets lower each day. During the spring and fall for about two weeks, the sun is directly behind the line of sight between an Earth station and a satellite that is sending signals to a receiving satellite antenna here on earth. When the antenna is looking into the sun, the interference from the sun overrides the signals from the satellite. The sun causes “solar interference” to all geostationary satellite signals. It generally happens from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At first, the effects of a sun outage are minimal. But they will gradually worsen to the point of total outage. Some channels will experience “macro-blocking” or “tiling” of the picture before and after peak times. These are the channels we receive digitally from the satellite.

Sun outages typically last as long as 15 minutes a day. The effects of a sun outage vary in degree from minimal to total outage throughout the nine days. Once it reaches its peak, the interference will gradually decrease, becoming less noticeable each day after.

Unfortunately, there is technically nothing TDS can do to prevent sun outages from occurring. Each satellite service that we receive signals from will experience this interference in the timeframe mentioned above.

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