07/11/2005

Ofcom Website | Ofcom tackles illegal broadcasting

Ofcom Website | Ofcom tackles illegal broadcasting: "Ofcom tackles illegal broadcasting


Ofcom announced the results of an operation to take off air illegal broadcasters operating in Greater London. The operation began on the morning of Saturday 29 October to deal with the large number of London pirate radio stations that illegally broadcast over the FM radio band without a licence under Section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.

The operation has led to:
* 53 illegal broadcasters' radio transmitters seized;
* 17 transmitters and aerials disabled;
* 43 mobile and land line telephone numbers linked to illegal broadcasting operations gathered for further Ofcom investigation to trace the subscribers; and
* 9 letters of warning sent to night clubs that have advertised events on illegal radio stations.

The operation which took place between 25th October and 1st November involved 18 Ofcom field operations staff and 32 Metropolitan Police officers.

Ofcom have reports that the raids have caused 44 illegal stations to go off air.

Though Ofcom is mandated to persue pirate radio stations under it's obligations of the Communications Act, the reasoning is potentially suspect saying they finance serious crime including drugs and weapons (and these were found at some locations).

Though use of weapons is not particularly nice, the pirate radio stations tend to fight other pirates for advertising revenue and they're more likely to be used in this role than any other.

Pirates can provide access to musical tastes that commercial stations don't provide, though Ofcom do have to ensure pirates don't interfere with commercial stations and other licensed users of the spectrum.
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