Licence Review

On Wednesday 21st February 2024 Ofcom released a document that sets out its “decision to update the amateur radio licensing framework to ensure the policies and licences meet the needs of today and tomorrow’s radio amateurs, while streamlining the licensing process”. The new licence conditions take effect from that date. Ofcom also released new guidance to accompany the revised terms.

Previously, alongside their December-2023 consultation statement, Ofcom had published a Summary of the Changes (PDF); this gives a high level overview of the policy changes Ofcom has made to the amateur radio licensing framework.

Also in December, Ofcom published its General Notice, giving notice of its proposal to vary all amateur radio licences, which had a deadline for representations of 22 January 2024. As detailed in the 2024 decision above, this did result in a few modest changes.

Note: One of the key changes resulting from the consultation is a new document, ‘Notice of Coordination & Procedures’, that includes additional licence conditions and replaces the former Schedule-2 for some bands (such as 70cm and 23cm), to ensure the protection of other radio users from Amateur Radio transmissions.

Useful Links:

 

Notice period: The RSGB’s formal response

In January 2024, the RSGB issued a formal response to Ofcom during its notice period which you can read here

 

Updating the amateur radio licensing framework: RSGB overview of key changes

In this video, RSGB General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB chats to Spectrum Forum Chair Murray Niman, G6JYB. Murray recaps some of the headline results of the Ofcom consultation, including where changes have occurred to Ofcom’s proposals. They also talk about what this could mean for radio amateurs in the future. This is a great example of how the RSGB is working not only to defend the spectrum, but also to support all radio amateurs to understand and make use of the privileges they enjoy through their amateur radio licence.

Click or tap on the image below to watch the recording

A copy of the slide presentation used in the video is available to view separately.


 

The 2023 Ofcom Consultation 

The Ofcom Plan of Work for 2023/24 included a major review of amateur licensing and related callsign policy.

The Ofcom Consultation was launched on 23 June 2023, with replies required by 5pm on 4 September 2023. The Consultation is now closed.

All radio amateurs were strongly encouraged to read the consultation on Ofcom’s website—and reply to Ofcom individually.


 

October 2023 – An update at the RSGB Convention

Ahead of the formal Ofcom statement, an interim update was given at the RSGB Convention on the level of response as well as areas where NoVs are currently common  —such as repeaters, gateways, data systems and beacons.

Click or tap on the image below to watch the recording


 

Two special Tonight@8 events

We  held two special Tonight@8 events focused on the Ofcom amateur radio consultation. Instead of the usual webinar-style, the events were forums where, after a short introduction, a panel of RSGB experts answered your questions.

The first event

On Monday 31 July 2023, we looked at looked at contests, operating and call sign policy, of particular interest to Full licence holders. The RSGB expert panel was: General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB; Spectrum Chair Murray Niman, G6JYB; Board Chair Stewart Bryant, G3YSX; President John McCullagh, GI4BWM.

A copy of the introduction presentation used in the video is available to view separately*

Click or tap on the image below to watch the recording

The second event

The focus was on Foundation and Intermediate topics including call sign and exam changes, as well as the Consultation clauses that might lead to new opportunities for outreach activities for everyone. This event was also for people who aren’t yet licensed but are thinking of taking an amateur radio exam in the next couple of years.
The RSGB expert panel was: General Manager Steve Thomas, M1ACB; Board Chair Stewart Bryant, G3YSX; Spectrum Chair Murray Niman, G6JYB; Examinations Standards Committee Chair Tony Kent, G8PBH.

A copy of the introduction presentation used in the video is available to view separately *(please see important note at the bottom of the page)

Click or tap on the image below to watch the recording


 

Consultation: Video overview

We released a video in which RSGB Spectrum and licensing expert Murray Niman, G6JYB, explained more about the Consultation. Click or tap on the image below to watch the video. We also encourage you to use it at your clubs to start a discussion with your club members.

A copy of the presentation used in the video is available to view separately *(please see important note at the bottom of the page)

Click or tap on the image below to watch the recording

 

*The PDFs of the supporting presentations on this page are provided to help radio amateurs with the Ofcom changes. The files are copyright to the RSGB and shouldn’t be edited, modified, or the content copied into other presentations or documents.