A routine quarterly meeting was held between representatives of Ofcom and the RSGB on 5 December 2013.
The main issues discussed were as follows:
5 MHz NoV
It was agreed that there was no need for a paper based application form. It is anticipated that an allocation of 5MHz frequencies will be included in the revised amateur radio terms and conditions in due course.
Amateur Radio Licence Review
The outcomes agreed within the Litmus Tests were passed to Ofcom. Ofcom confirmed that the timetable for the review envisages that the formal consultation period will last for about 10 weeks and end in the mid-summer of 2014. Agreed changes will be implemented 1 year later.
Renewal of Packet, Beacon and Repeater NoVs
The renewal procedure will be devised between Ofcom and the RSGB and kept as simple as possible whilst ensuring the appropriate validation of applicants. The process will published on the Ofcom and RSGB websites.
Renewal of Permanent Special Event Callsigns
The renewal process is in hand by Ofcom. A notice will be published on the Ofcom website (and linked by the RSGB website) to advise NoV holders.
Ofcom advised that licenced amateurs with a main station address in Scotland will be allowed to use the special prefix “A” – GA, MA,2A – instead of the usual “M” for the period from Burns Night to St. Andrews Day during 2014. Arrangements for issuing NoVs will be advised via the Ofcom and RSGB websites.
Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014
Mirroring the experience of the London Olympics 2012, applications for special event callsigns for “flagship” stations should be made on an individual basis to Ofcom. Ofcom will advise if any local microwave restrictions are needed to support wireless cameras, etc.
Revalidation of Licences
The RSGB will work with Ofcom to encourage a phased approach to licence revalidation during the coming months. It was reported that currently 47% of all amateur licences still need revalidating.
Public Sector Spectrum Release
It was reported that plans were on course for a release date of mid-2015 and that changes to the 2.3 & 3.4GHz microwave bands would be enacted via a variation to the Amateur Radio licence. The detail would be communicated via an article in RadCom and on the RSGB website.
VHF Spectrum Release
Ofcom confirmed that proposals for consultation would be published by the end of January 2014.
Amateur Interference and Abuse of Licence Conditions
Ways of closer working between AROS and Ofcom were discussed including publicising when possible the outcome of investigations and action taken.
Ofcom will be providing an article for publication in RadCom on the work their enforcement section carries out.
Building on the success of G100RSGB
Ofcom will consider the principle of issuing a similar special callsign to encourage UK wide activity in future years.
Changes to the regulations governing the use of CB Radio
Ofcom will be publishing a statement following the recent consultation, and agreed changes will be enacted in the summer of 2014.
Date of next meeting: March 2014