RSGB Officers met with representatives of Ofcom on 15 March as part of our regular series of discussions.
The principal items were as follows:
Review of Amateur Radio Licence
Ofcom are planning to publish proposals for consultation at the end of April (and will be reported in RadCom and on the website). Ofcom will be attending the RSGB Convention and the Hamfest to brief amateurs on progress.
Revalidation of Licences
Ofcom reported that, of all amateur licences on issue, over 40 percent have not been revalidated. The RSGB agreed to continue to assist Ofcom in publicising the need for all outstanding licences to revalidated during the coming weeks.
VHF Spectrum Release Proposals
Ofcom will be publishing its proposals for consultation shortly.
Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ISS)
Ofcom have agreed in principle to issue a Permanent Special Callsign (GB1SS) to the ISS. This will allow Major Tim Peake, the first British astronaut to visit the ISS, and other licenced amateurs who may follow him, to use a British callsign during their stay.
Public Sector Spectrum Release
Ofcom intend to issue a statement in early April giving details of the future spectrum changes in the 2.3 and 3.4 GHz band.
Renewal of Beacon and Repeater NoVs
Ofcom reported that letters had been sent to all NoV holders advising them of the need to renew by the end of March 2014. The new NoVs will be dispatched during the last week of the month.
2015 SSES Callsign
Ofcom agreed in principle to the approval of a special SES (similar to the Gx100RSGB callsign) for use during 2015 on a planned nationwide basis.
Youngsters on the Air (YOTA)
Ofcom agreed in principle to issue the special SES G14YOTA for the month of December 2014 to allow young people in the UK to participate in the IARU YOTA on-air activity.
Locating Sources of Deliberate Interference (DQRM)
We discussed ways of working together that would enhance our efforts (both locally and internationally) to reduce deliberate interference.
High Power use of PMR446
Ofcom drew attention to recent cases that were being pursued through the courts. Paul Jarvis will submit an article for RadCom to remind amateurs of the regulations in respect of PMR446.
The RSGB submitted a paper from RAEN for future consideration proposing areas for change in the licence that would enhance the service that they provide.
Date of next meeting: 12 June 2014.