Monday, November 03, 2008

UK OfCom Official Statement on PLC

Admits there is a problem, though in a fairly dismissive manner. Doesn't take into account that political apathy guarantees that less than 1% of people with a problem, if that, will ever complain formally to authorities. Notes that EMC rules will continue to be enforced in the UK:

Power Line Telecommunications (PLT)

Power line telecommunications (PLT) is a technology that can carry data on a conventional electrical power system using a radio frequency carrier signal.

PLT equipment can be used to interconnect computers with other devices in the home. It is not considered radio equipment for the purposes of equipment regulation.

As with all electrical and electronic products sold in the UK, PLT equipment is required to meet the relevant regulations before it can be placed on the market. In particular, it must comply with the Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2006 (the EMC Regulations) which are based on a European Directive.

The person who places products on the market (usually the manufacturer or the importer) must ensure that the products comply and apply the ‘CE’ mark.

The UK government department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) is responsible for overseeing the EMC Regulations. Enforcement powers are delegated to local Trading Standards offices and to Ofcom where there is a radio spectrum protection or management issue.

Ofcom estimates there are around 500,000 pieces of PLT equipment in use in the UK. We have received around 40 individual complaints of interference attributed to PLT equipment. All of these complaints are in the process of being investigated or have been successfully resolved.

It is often the case that electrical equipment that is used in the home has to comply with the EMC regulations. Some of this equipment has the capacity to cause interference to other radiocommunications equipment in certain circumstances; this can be due to the manner in which it is installed or operated.

Ofcom can provide advice and assistance to those who complain of interference with radiocommunications equipment. Any individuals who wish to report specific cases of interference that may be caused by PLT apparatus, or any other source, should contact Ofcom’s Advisory Team on 0300 123 3333 for further assistance.

We continue to liaise with BERR and other interested stakeholders in respect of PLT interference and will provide further updates on any significant developments.