Thursday, January 24, 2013

Radio OFCOM returns

87.9 FM - Greater London
Public Information Broadcast on SRSLs and the danger associated with illegal broadcasting
On air from: 21/01/13 to 17/02/13
Contact: Ofcom Broadcast Licensing

When this was last on air in 2011, British DX Club member Mark Hattan was told by Rhys from OFCOM:

Dear Mark,
Yes, this is a public information broadcast that will operate from 4-8 April and 11-15 April 2011.
 The purpose of this service is threefold. Firstly, it is to advertise the availability of 87.7 MHz for temporary radio services. Secondly, it is to explain about Ofcom and our key responsibilities. And finally, it is to raise awareness about illegal broadcasters and the problems that they cause.
I hope this clears things up.

Another BDXC member, Ian Kelly, monitored the broadcast and reported: "Heard mobile at Crystal Palace, SE London today - recorded loop announcing itself as a public service broadcast from Ofcom on 87.7. Aimed at potential DJs and MCs, warning against pirate radio offences and advertising and encouraging people to grass up anyone involved or report interference. Anyone know the tx site? Not strong at CP - ironically, slight splatter from pirate on 87.6 !"

(Info via Mike Barraclough, BDXC-UK Yahoo group)

OFCOM must have decided it was worth doing if they repeating the exercise again this year. It should be on air now until February 17.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this information. The former head of my local (legal) community radio station told us that OFCOM's intention with these broadcasts on 87.9 was also to interfere with free radio operators in the lower part of the FM Band. If this is the case, then, as a transmitter engineer told me, the regulator is demonstrating an ignorance of the dynamics of VHF operations: an FM signal will not cause interference in the same way that an AM co-channel signal would.

There are also serious procedural issues with this presence. Regardless of one's opinion on FM pirate radio in the London area, OFCOM have managed to grant themselves a license to operate their own service. This confuses the role of broadcast licensing body and broadcasters themselves. In principle, it would be the same if (say) the government granted itself a license to transmit its own propaganda. OFCOM have (quite rightly, in my opinion), intervened to stop propaganda transmissions from Iran's Press-TV and similar broadcasters - but it begs the question why they are then setting up their own opinion mouthpiece.

Keep up the great work with the SW Pirate DX Blog. It's worth visiting every day. And great to see that SW Free Radio is flourishing.


uk dxer said...

Glad you like the blog ... there's still plenty to listen to on shortwave!!! Some interesting views Tez.