Ofcom-RSGB Forum – 13 January 2015

| January 29, 2015

Summary of matters discussed at the Ofcom-RSGB Forum meeting held on 13 January 2015.

RSGB logo and Ofcom office

Abusive behaviour on Repeaters

The problems experienced by certain repeater keepers, how support might best be provided for them and ongoing Ofcom enforcement progress were discussed at length. Various possible remedial actions were aired including the inclusion of voice recognition software on repeaters and the potential for civil action.

New Amateur Radio Licence Terms and Conditions

The RSGB expressed concern about the issuance of documentation to Foundation and Full licensees which erroneously included the “E” as a secondary prefix. It was reported that letters to all such licensees had already been printed and a reprint was not possible within the timescale.

Concern was raised over the 472 kHz band clause concerning protection to electrical equipment and the wording of the clause referring to maritime mobile operation. Ofcom were not able to reconsider changes within their planned timescale but reiterated that this was not a precedent.

It was noted that Ofcom intended to publish the accompanying guidance to the new licence by the end of March 2015. RSGB offered to provide Ofcom with a list of topics for which amateurs had indicated that further guidance would be helpful, and it was agreed that RSGB should have the opportunity of making comment on the emerging draft.

Ofcom Consultation Document – Wireless Telegraphy (Control of Interference from Apparatus) Regulations 2015

The RSGB raised various questions arising from the above document, the content of which was broadly welcomed.

It was noted that the RSGB would be encouraging all amateurs to respond positively to the proposals and, through its EMC Committee, providing advice to assist amateurs in making maximum use of the new provisions, if enacted.

In terms of EMC matters in general, The RSGB reported that this topic was increasing in importance to the amateur radio community and proposed that it should feature as a regular item on the forum agenda. The RSGB also suggested that a mechanism for EMC specialists to meet outside of the meeting would be helpful in focussing the forum discussions, and Ofcom agreed to examine the feasibility of this.

Licence Revalidation

Ofcom reported that the number of licences that had not been revalidated continued to fall but at a slow rate, with 22 percent outstanding. It was noted that Ofcom had yet to agree a process for dealing with those licences that remain unvalidated.

RSL for Cornwall

Ofcom reported that advice was still awaited from their legal department and thus no progress had been made. RSGB expressed deep concern about the delay in this matter and questioned whether escalating the issue would expedite matters.

Repeater frequency clearances

RSGB noted that good progress had been made with the resolution of outstanding requests. Due to the impending removal of PSSR spectrum at 2.3 GHz it was agreed that keepers of those repeaters affected should apply now for replacement receive frequencies via the ETCC.

420-470 MHz UHF Spectrum

RSGB raised the matter of the recent Ofcom Call for Input which had caused concerns as the frequency range includes the 70cm amateur and amateur satellite bands. Ofcom explained their focus was on business radio, but did add that the complicated nature of the band causes difficulties in restructuring its use. Ofcom requested constructive inputs and stressed that this call was an early stage in a long process.

WRC-15 Preparation

Preparations for the imminent CEPT-PTC meeting were discussed which includes agenda items on 5 MHz and 77 GHz amateur bands. RSGB will again be a member of the Ofcom-led UK delegation. The recent Ofcom ‘Update on WRC-15’ statement was noted including the position that is clear that it will be MoD who will ultimately define what the UK can support.

WRC-19 Future Agenda Items

An initial discussion was held on future agenda Items for WRC-19 (which would need to be agreed at WRC-15). These are dealt with in the separate CEPT-PTA group. Support was sought for IARU Region-1 proposals for harmonisation of the 1.8-2, 50-52 and 3400-3410 MHz bands.

Category: Front Page News, Ofcom-RSGB Forum, RSGB Notices