Today I was part of the RSGB team that met with OFCOM in London.
My role was to present EME in a favourable light, as part of the Space exhibit and one of the four areas of amateur radio on show today. The other ares were home construction, working pile-ups & ARDF, and a table-top antenna test range.
This was a follow-up to another technical meeting, held earlier this year. These meetings are in addition to the regular administrative meetings between RSGB and OFCOM.
With the amateur radio license terms and conditions consultation coming up next year, these meetings are essential to a successful future for our hobby.
During the meeting I met the OFCOM staff responsible for the 2.3 and 3.4GHz Consultation. That consultation is still ongoing. We have to wait to hear the eventual outcome.
However, I was able to explain first hand, to relevant OFCOM staff, some of the issues (of possible changes) for EME enthusiasts and what EME was capable of achieving given an interference free channel on these two important EME bands.
One of the presentation slides has an embedded video showing G3LTF working W5LUA using SSB on the 13cm amateur band ( video courtesy of BATC) . I could see that OFCOM staff were impressed that we were able to do this at all, given the great path losses involved and the limitations of our amateur license.
I have come away from the meeting with a very favourable impression of the OFCOM staff involved in amateur radio licensing, their understanding of our position and sure that they do care about us and will do their very best to ensure we retain a 13cm and 9cm allocation for EME and probably other areas of amateur interest.
It was also clear that the other exhibits and presenters did a good job, from the candid comments I overheard.
We should be thankful that the RSGB have engaged so effectively with OFCOM and that is good for the hobby's future.
As an aside I was surprised to hear one the OFCOM staff refer to our aircraft scatter activities whilst we were chatting over lunch. Following an explanation of what was involved, the distances that could be covered, etc the person appeared very impressed with what we have been able to achieve.
I would judge it was a very successful day and I am pleased I was asked to participate.
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