23/12/2005

Department of Trade and Industry - Consultation

The DTI is holding a consultation on whether to use fixed penalties for infractions of the Wireless Telegraohy Act 1949.

The act covers broadcasting and receiving of radio waves and equipment.

Currently anyone transmitting (or receiving) in the UK needs a license, though some bands are license exempt (which means as long as you stick to the license published by Ofcom, you don't need a specific license).

Though serious offenders will still be prosecuted, this allows enforcement officers to give spot fines for things like transmitting using excess power (or using high gain attenae) in the 2.4GHz band. Previously most of these infractions have been ignored as it is too expensive to prosecute.

Though some people may see this as an extra tax, it may actually give Ofcom some teeth to stop offenders where in the past they haven't had the will or the resources to do so, which may be a good thing in the long term as spectrum is very crowded and this possibly will allow better management.

The consultation closes on 31st March 2006.
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