Ofcom EMF Amateur Radio Licence Changes (Interview)

Following a public consultation in February 2020, Ofcom released a statement in October 2020 which is set to require UK radio amateurs to complete risk assessments on their transmissions regarding exposure to electromagnetic fields.

Here is the decision, released by Ofcom on the 5th of October 2020 (source: Ofcom EMF Statement)

“We will include a specific condition in Wireless Telegraphy Act licences requiring licensees to comply with the ICNIRP general public limits on EMF exposure. This condition will apply to all licence classes which authorise equipment to transmit at powers higher than 10 Watts EIRP (including, for example, the licences of mobile phone companies, TV and radio broadcasters and most point-to-point microwave links).

We intend to apply a similar approach for equipment that is exempt from the requirement to have a licence and that is authorised to transmit at powers higher than 10 Watts EIRP, such as certain types of satellite terminals. We intend to amend relevant licence exemption regulations as considered appropriate on a case-by-case basis in line with our policy decision.

In addition, we will require spectrum licensees to keep records (including the results of any measurements, tests and calculations) that demonstrate how they have complied with the ICNIRP general public limits.

We have listened to the concerns of some licensees about the potential administrative burden of demonstrating compliance. To help ease this, we have developed a simple online EMF calculator, so they can assess their compliance more easily. We have also made changes to our proposed licence Condition and to our ‘Guidance on EMF Compliance and Enforcement’.”

How does this affect amateur radio, and what will we need to do?

To find out more, we spoke to Leslie Butterfields G0CIB, who has been looking into Ofcom’s proposals in detail:

Ofcom EMF Changes – Leslie G0CIB Interview

 

Ofcom EMF Document

EMF Calculator

Ofcom has released a test version of the EMF calculator – Ofcom EMF Calculator (Excel Spreadsheet)

Example of Ofcom's EMF Calculator
Example of Ofcom’s EMF Calculator

A note on Logging

Several people have commented on Leslie’s comments about logging during an interference dispute. This is good practice during any interference dispute, and is something we teach new amateurs (See parts 1D2, 6G2 and 7A5 of the RSGB syllabus). Although logging isn’t mandatory, for interference issues, it’s recommended practice. Also note that on cases of interference where Ofcom gets involved, it may well be mandatory. See what Section 12(1) of the amateur radio licence has to say regarding logging for the purposes of interference investigation.

Regardless, the point that Leslie was making is that in the case of an interference dispute where, say, a neighbour has got Ofcom involved, your position will be stronger if you have kept a log, have records of your station tests, and have complied with the requirement to check ICNIRP limits, you’ll be in a stronger position than if you’ve done nothing. 

Related links

Got a comment on the changes? Got a question? Send us your feedback in the box below

50 Comments

  1. Avatar Adam 16 October 2020 Reply
  2. Avatar Andy 16 October 2020 Reply
  3. Avatar Pete Moore zl2aub 16 October 2020 Reply
  4. Avatar bluecar1 16 October 2020 Reply
  5. Avatar Richard 16 October 2020 Reply
  6. Avatar Andy de 2e0raf 17 October 2020 Reply
  7. Avatar Steve G6XWK 17 October 2020 Reply
    • Avatar Leslie G0CIB 16 November 2020 Reply
  8. Avatar Andrew Mansfield 17 October 2020 Reply
  9. Avatar G6MJG 17 October 2020 Reply
    • Pete M0PSX Pete M0PSXAuthor 17 October 2020 Reply
  10. Avatar Andy 18 October 2020 Reply
  11. Avatar Andy 18 October 2020 Reply
    • Avatar Gareth 19 October 2020 Reply
  12. Avatar Charles G4GUO 18 October 2020 Reply
    • Avatar dave 18 October 2020 Reply
      • Avatar Charles G4GUO 18 October 2020 Reply
        • Avatar Dave 19 October 2020 Reply
  13. Avatar Robert 18 October 2020 Reply
    • Avatar Dave 18 October 2020 Reply
  14. Avatar Steve Walters-Smith 18 October 2020 Reply
  15. Avatar Brian Jopson 18 October 2020 Reply
    • Pete M0PSX Pete M0PSXAuthor 18 October 2020 Reply
  16. Avatar Mike 18 October 2020 Reply
  17. Avatar Brian Jopson 18 October 2020 Reply
  18. Avatar John 18 October 2020 Reply
    • Avatar SD 19 October 2020 Reply
      • Pete M0PSX Pete M0PSXAuthor 19 October 2020 Reply
    • Avatar Leslie 17 November 2020 Reply
    • Avatar Leslie G0CIB 17 November 2020 Reply
  19. Avatar peter 18 October 2020 Reply
    • Avatar Karl 19 October 2020 Reply
  20. Avatar Ken, G4YRF 19 October 2020 Reply
  21. Avatar Gareth 19 October 2020 Reply
    • Pete M0PSX Pete M0PSXAuthor 19 October 2020 Reply
  22. Avatar Paul G8AQA 19 October 2020 Reply
    • Avatar g6urm 21 October 2020 Reply
  23. Avatar Johnty 20 October 2020 Reply
  24. Avatar g6urm 21 October 2020 Reply
  25. Pete M0PSX Pete M0PSXAuthor 21 October 2020 Reply
  26. Avatar g6urm 22 October 2020 Reply
  27. Avatar Leonard Baddeley 22 October 2020 Reply
    • Pete M0PSX Pete M0PSXAuthor 22 October 2020 Reply
  28. Avatar Kristian M0SSK 6 November 2020 Reply
  29. Avatar Kostas 11 November 2020 Reply
  30. Avatar Leslie G0CIB 15 November 2020 Reply

Leave a Reply to peter Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *