Thursday, 22 April 2010

BEIRG - Feedback on Channel 38

Now that the migration from CH69 to CH38 has begun in earnest, BEIRG is keen to get feedback from users with regard to the use of CH38. How well has the migration worked for you – both in terms of availability of suitable kit and practical use of the band? Have your experiences differed when comparing use indoors and outdoors? BEIRG would welcome your comments and observations.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

BEIRG Statement in response to Ofcom's statement on "Future spectrum management, access and availability"

BEIRG is pleased and relieved that Ofcom has accepted the Programme Making and Special Event (PMSE) sector’s arguments regarding security of tenure. We consequently welcome the fact that they have committed to address the ‘cliff edge’, which would have otherwise resulted in no guaranteed spectrum access for the sector beyond 2018. We are grateful to our supporters in Parliament, especially Peter Luff, who have helped us on this issue. We look forward to continued constructive discussions with Ofcom officials as they move forward with more detailed policy plans and a final decision on how to address that cliff edge.

The extension of guaranteed access to channel 69 until at least 1st July 2012 is also a step in the right direction. We need to consult our members and other stakeholders before we can give more detailed reaction, since the availability of the replacement channel 38 affects different end-users in different ways.

Regarding the postponement of the band manager award until after the Olympics in 2012, we understand the reasons for this decision. In this regard, our concern is that there is an adequate spectrum management regime in place for the interim period that provides continuity of spectrum access at reasonable prices. Ofcom have said that they will ensure that this is the case in light of their objective to minimise disruption to the PMSE sector. We welcome this and look forward to hearing the precise details.

BEIRG is however at great pains to point out that these developments have no bearing on the Save Our Sound UK funding campaign. As Ofcom have said, the Government has not yet made a decision on this matter.

In addition, whilst we welcome these important statements on security of tenure for PMSE spectrum access, we are greatly concerned about its quality and quantity. This of course refers to the reduction in spectrum availability post-DSO and the potential influx of so-called ‘cognitive or white space devices’, which have the potential to severely pollute the airwaves and make licensed PMSE applications effectively unusable.