Amateur Radio Restrictions.
Details of amateur band frequency restrictions during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have now been released by U-K Telecommunications regulator Ofcom. The greatest impact to ham radio appears to be satellite and other operations in the 436 to 437 Mhz segment of 70 centimeters. -- Parts of the 70, 13 and 9 centimeter amateur bands in the United Kingdom will face restrictions between June 28th and September 23rd. This, due to need for spectrum during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The restrictions only apply in geographically limited areas, with 70cm being particularly affected around London and Weymouth. Also hard hit by the restrictions will be ham radio satellite operations. According to a notice on the AMSAT-UK web site the Amateur- satellite Service allocation in the 435 to 438 MHz range will be restricted to 436.25 to 437.25 MHz. This is based on an understanding that the equipment being used for Olympics communications in the 430 MHz band will include handheld FM rigs at the hotels, the routes to the venues and at the venues themselves. The U-K communications regulator Ofcom say the use of radio by amateurs in the designated areas could cause interference to various communications at the games. Also, it is possible that higher power transmissions from outside these areas could cause interference as well. Consequently, to avoid the risk of interference, Ofcom has requested that United Kingdom amateurs do not operate within the frequency ranges it has outlined. This says AMSAT-UK means that the spectrum identified by Ofcom should be avoided for a considerable distance outside the designated Olympic communications zones. AMSAT-UK notes that a well equipped station on a good site 75 km or more from the edge of an Olympics communications zone could still put a fairly decent signal into that area. ARNewslineT did a bit of research and found that the closest heavily populated mainland European city to London appears to be Calais, France. This is mainly over water path only about 93 airline miles or 149 kilometers away from the closest Olympic venue. That said, Ofcom has so far not asked the French or any other European telecommunications administrations to restrict their nations Amateur Service allocations during the Olympic and Paralympic games.
More on this is on-line at www.uk.amsat.org/6574 and RSGB.org/olympics. (GB2RS, AMSAT-UK, ARNewslineT)