TUESDAY, JAN. 4: Viewers who rely on terrestrial TV have been left without access to two local channels since lightning struck a communications tower two weeks ago.

Bermuda Broadcasting Company’s ZFB and ZBM channels have been disrupted, with no sign as to when they will return.

Cable TV users can access the local stations as usual. But viewers who don’t subscribe to cable services called to tell us they are not able to view either of the local BBC channels.

VSB’s signal was also disrupted by the lightning strike but we understand its service has been largely restored.

One viewer in Somerset told us: “We have WOW in the living room and terrestrial (antenna) in the bedroom. When VSB came back on the air after they were struck by lightning a few weeks ago, the reception was really fuzzy and has been that way every since. ZBM and ZFB went out just before Christmas and never came back on.”

Another TV viewer in Paget told us she was frustrated by the dearth of information about the outages: “If you call ZBM they say they can’t tell you when the stations will be back on the air. Unbelievable.”

When the Bermuda Sun called the Bermuda Broadcasting Company a receptionist said she wasn’t sure when the channels would be back on air, adding that engineers were working on the problem.

A St. George’s resident told us: “They’ve most definitely been off air. I haven’t been able to get [channels] seven and nine since well before Christmas. I think pretty much anyone who doesn’t have cable and just has the local channels can’t get seven or nine.”

It is unclear how many viewers have been affected or in which areas of the island but it is understood that only a small number of islanders now depend on terrestrial TV service.

Rick Richardson, CEO of Bermuda Broadcasting Company, appeared to allude to this point when approached about the matter today. He said: “We have never been off air. We provide cable to 22,000 households and we have maintained all of those households throughout.

“VSB are back on but they are only reaching a portion of the island. We’re taking our time in repairing because of the wind.”

Mr. Richardson said the company shut down transmitters to conduct repairs but has continued broadcasting throughout.