All UK radio licences change due to RF Exposure

OFCOM, our version of the FCC have written to radio licence holders making them aware they no need to make sure no members of the public can be impacted by their RF emissions. I’ve now had notification for my business and ham radio licences. There is a simple flow chart to follow to check and a calculator where you enter frequency power, antenna gain etc. If you are over certain levels you have to take steps to prevent irradiating the public. You then file your results for the future. Licence terms have this requirement added. It does, by and large, seem to be a paperwork compliance matter, as they don’t have the staff to check for pirates, interference to non emergency interference etc, but they have a system in place. In general, less than 10W EIRP means you just carry on, if you are over this you do need to at least do some further checking a documenting. Hams on HF, with neighbours, or business users with antennas close to nearby offices etc with higher power licences are impacted. For me, short term hires for events now need some adjustment. I can, and usually do, run them at 25W with quite low antennas for sheer convenience and now, using the calculator, I need to drop the power and raise the mast height to avoid the extra paperwork and monitoring. I suppose, being cynical, is that if somebody developed a brain tumour, my paperwork would become evidence the RF was not to blame, but without it, there could be blame pointed at me. Lack of compliance suggesting blame?

The only impact for me is that the test antennas on my office are only 3m above ground and about the same from other peoples offices and homes. This means using the 28MHz and 50MHz HF bands would mean paperwork and record keeping, so I’m not going to use that radio. No loss really, the performance of the antenna was terrible anyway.

I’ve not yet had a new marine licence but that will come soon I think. I don’t think compliance here will be an issue with public exposure. My understanding is employees are exempt, and wind farm boats don’t have many members of the public at sea. On the leisure boats, it’s mainly family members, but I guess marinas could be problematic, using the flow chart and a 25W radio, when tied up?

I bet the US will follow at some point.

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