Thursday, March 31, 2011

UK Ofcom Caught Lying on BPL/PLT (No April Fool)

Ofcom, the UK "FCC," has been caught in a lie, or at least a strong political spin, regarding the legality of a popular device used widely in that country for in-home Broadband over Power Lines/ Power Line Telecomm (BPL/PLT).

On the record, Ofcom has long maintained the position that the equipment operates within the law as it exists in that country. However, a legal request for documents has recently turned up a test result commissioned by Ofcom, which was apparently suppressed when it came back showing the units well in excess of electromagnetic compatibility standards.

At present, it strongly appears that a major UK regulatory agency developed a policy for political rather than engineering reasons, and then spent years intentionally covering up data in conflict with this policy. There, as here, the word for this is corruption.

Here's the first part of a story in The Register UK:

Ofcom forced to publish tests on dodgy radio kit
FOI request prompts action
By Bill Ray
Posted in Wireless, 31st March 2011 12:07 GMT

Ofcom has been forced to disclose its own tests showing that powerline networking kit does breach the European EMC Directive, but still won't do anything to enforce compliance.

Despite claiming there was no evidence that PLT kit built by Comtrend and supplied by BT was breaching EU rules on electromagnetic emissions, the regulator has now been forced by a Freedom of Information request to publish independent research, commissioned by them, which shows exactly that.

The request was pursued by Peter Walker, a radio amateur who eventually had to take Ofcom to an ICO Tribunal to get the regulator to hand over the study - which appears to contradict Ofcom's line in stating that the equipment tested, which was supplied by Ofcom, does not comply with the standards required by EU legislation.