Why is Ofcom failing in its statutory duty to protect the radio spectrum from abuse?

The request was partially successful.

Dear Office of Communications,

Having regard to the legal document ‘Electromagnetic
Compatibility Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/3418)’ - [1]

And the following extracts:

1.1 Introduction
The Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2006 (SI
2006/3418) (“the Regulations”) apply to electrical and
electronic equipment liable to cause electromagnetic
disturbance or the performance of which is liable to be affected by such disturbance.

The purpose of the Regulations is to ensure that the
electromagnetic disturbance generated by electrical or
electronic equipment does not exceed a level above which
radio and telecommunications equipment and other equipment
cannot operate as intended, and that the equipment itself has an adequate level of immunity to electromagnetic disturbance.

2.1 Electromagnetic disturbance
An electromagnetic disturbance is any electromagnetic
phenomenon which may degrade the performance of
equipment. It may be, for example, electromagnetic noise or
an unwanted signal.

Ofcom may enforce the Regulations where the action relates
to the protection and management of the radio spectrum. (In
fact Enforcement powers are delegated to Ofcom where there
is a radio spectrum protection or management issue)

You commissioned a survey by PA Consulting group recently
that stated that Power Line Adaptors such as those supplied
by BT with its ‘Vision’ package do cause significant spectrum abuse when installed.

The report relies on mitigation methods that are untried or
tested and are only theoretical yet you conclude that these
‘innovations’ will resolve the interference issues! Please
provide me with any evidence that this will be the case?

I personally have had to call on you to remove around eight
cases of BT Vision, Comtrend PLT installations.

To date I am aware of several hundred cases like mine and in
fact I am yet again suffering from highly probable BT Comtrend PLT radio interference. Which this time you are refusing to deal with.

You say in your statement of September 2009 that “Ofcom
has not so far found that there is a breach of the EMC
essential requirements”

Please give details:

1) With regard to the EMC regulations why have you elected
not to carry out your statutory duty to protect the radio
spectrum from this clear abuse? Particularly in the light of [2] - Mr. ED Vaizey's (the Government Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries) instructions and assertion that Ofcom will continue to investigate and take action on a case-by-case basis. Please make available to me all documents, policies and directives that have led to this stance.

2) How, despite hundreds of cases of spectrum abuse caused
mostly by BT Vision, Comtrend PLT you arrive at your position of September 2009? That there is no evidence. Please make available to me all documents, policies and directives that have led to this stance, and say what would make you decide there was sufficient evidence to take enforcement action?

3) Please explain in your expert capacity how it is possible to use BT Vision, Comtrend PLT devices in ordinary domestic situations and not cause spectrum abuse? (Note that just because it is not observed does not mean it does not exist)
Please make available to me the documents and data that
you used to arrive at this conclusion. If you do not hold such data then please say what basis you have for arriving at this conclusion?

4) Please say how many installations of BT Vision, Comtrend
PLT devices in ordinary domestic situations there are, and are not causing spectrum abuse you are aware of? Please make available to me all documents and test data that you hold showing how this was formally tested or observed.

5) Please confirm that it is Ofcom’s duty to protect against
EMC radio spectrum abuse and not that of the BBC. If this
duty has now passed to the BBC please provide details of how
this was authorised and which organisation called for and
handled the transition and why it was felt necessary?

6) Please say why despite my formally presenting you with
evidence of radio spectrum abuse (under s37 of the EMC
Regs 2006 - [3]) you have refused to investigate and resolve
this matter?
Please make available to me all documents, policies and
directives that have led to this stance.

7) Please say how cases of spectrum abuse by PLT devices
are being logged and used as part of your ‘evidenced based
regulator’ status, now that the reporting system system has
been broken and it appears you are trying to hide behind the
BBC, which has been shown to be wholly unsuitable and
unprepared for cases of this kind? Please make available to
me relevant documents and information.

8) Please explain exactly the process of gathering evidence
regarding PLT spectrum abuse if you are refusing to accept
reports from members of the UK public?

9) If you are not refusing to accept formal reports under s37 of the EMC Regs 2006 [3] from members of the public, please give clear details of how such reports may be sent direct to Ofcom.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Trodd

[1] -
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/...
[2] -
http://www.traditional-
jazz.com/mainpages/documents/edvaizeyfeb11032.pdf
[3] -
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/...

Martin Clintergate left an annotation ()

If you read all the previous replies from OFCOM you will find they have already answered your question.

Information Requests, Office of Communications

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Trodd

Please see correspondence attached.

Yours sincerely

Eleanor Berg

show quoted sections

Dear Eleanor Berg

Thank you for your attached reply in which you say you will fail to respond to my questions within the 20 day maximum limit and that you are considering my requests under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Would you please indicate which part of S31 you are testing against non-disclosure?

Also, having taken due regard of the Information Commissioner’s Office regarding both FOI and EIR can I have your assurance that you will respond within a period of less than two weeks?

I have to say I am very disapointed that Ofcom can not comply with the time limits!

Also, I note that Environmental Information Regulations 2004 does not permit any
extension of time limit beyond 20 working days for an authority to consider the public interest in the application of an exception to information that has been requested.

So therefore I am unsure how you can delay past the 20 day maximum in this case? and would expect you to have replied within the non negotiable 20 day limit in this case.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Trodd

Michael Trodd left an annotation ()

Expecting reply by Monday 11th as per the 40 day limit set ny http://www.ico.gov.uk/complaints/freedom...

Eleanor Berg, Office of Communications

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Trodd

 

Request for Information, reference: 1-170267075

 

Please see correspondence attached.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eleanor Berg

 

:: Eleanor Berg
   Information Requests

   [1][Ofcom request email]

:: Ofcom
   Riverside House
   2a Southwark Bridge Road
   London SE1 9HA
   020 7981 3000
   [2]www.ofcom.org.uk

 

 

:: Eleanor Berg
   Information Requests

   [3][Ofcom request email]

:: Ofcom
   Riverside House
   2a Southwark Bridge Road
   London SE1 9HA
   020 7981 3000
   [4]www.ofcom.org.uk

 

show quoted sections

Dear Office of Communications,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Office of Communications's handling of my FOI request 'Why is Ofcom failing in its statutory duty to protect the radio spectrum from abuse?'.

[ A full response should have been made by 30 March 2011, even with the maximum extension time of 40 days this request is now outside of the law as you have indicated yet more delay. Ofcom says it has had lots of requests about PLT which may indeed be the case as this matter is affecting so many people despite official denials. However I need and expected a response within the legal time limits and this has not happened. ]

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wh...

Yours faithfully,

Michael Trodd

Eleanor Berg, Office of Communications

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Trodd

 

Please see correspondence attached.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Eleanor Berg

 

:: Eleanor Berg
   Information Requests

   [1][Ofcom request email]

:: Ofcom
   Riverside House
   2a Southwark Bridge Road
   London SE1 9HA
   020 7981 3000
   [2]www.ofcom.org.uk

 

show quoted sections

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