Tuesday, 30 November 2010

One month left for wireless microphone users to register for wireless microphone funding

Ofcom is calling on licensed wireless microphone users to register for a Government funding scheme set up earlier this year to help pay for the replacement of channel 69 equipment. This equipment will stop working in 2012. The scheme closes on 31 December 2010.

Countries across Europe are clearing a block of frequencies to make way for new services like next-generation mobile broadband. Part of this block – called channel 69 (854-862 MHz) – is used by wireless microphones.

Replacement frequencies for channel 69 have been made available in channel 38 (606-614 MHz) as well as other frequencies – but existing microphones will need to be replaced or modified to work at these new frequencies.

In July 2010, the Government announced that it will be providing a contribution towards the cost of new equipment for those users who are eligible under the terms of the scheme. Those affected will receive roughly 55% towards the cost of replacing their equipment.

Who is eligible?
Eligible applicants will have held a valid WT Act channel 69 licence for at least part of the period between 3 February 2008 and 2 February 2009 inclusive. The exception to this will be equipment hiring companies that can prove their channel 69 business exclusively involves renting out (and not installing or operating) channel 69 equipment. The equipment must be in working condition and capable of tuning to channel 69 but not to channel 38. It must have been bought before 30 June 2009.

Users who consider themselves eligible for funding must register their claim by 31 December 2010. Any claim received after this date will not be accepted under the terms of the funding scheme.

Applicants can register and manage their claims online at www.pmsefunding.co.uk. Alternatively, they can call the helpline free of charge on 0800 011 3617.


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

BEIRG Asks Supporters To Write To Ed Richards & Their Local MP

BEIRG would like to raise awareness about a recent Ofcom consultation regarding the introduction of White Space Devices. This consultation, entitled ‘Implementing Geolocation’ (published 9th November), sets out Ofcom’s intentions to introduce a framework for the implementation of White Space Devices (WSD’s) in UK spectrum.

Given the complex issues that this consultation raises, it is felt that a four week consultation period is insufficient for all interested parties to pull together meaningful responses. Therefore we request that you and your organisation assist us by writing to Ed Richards, Ofcom's Chief Executive, asking that the consultation deadline be extended to the end of February 2011 at the very least. This should give much needed time for issues to be looked at and addressed more thoroughly.

We attach two template letters to be sent to the following in both email and hard copy format. As templates please feel free to add any further information that you believe may be relevant.

The first letter is addressed to Ed Richards, Chief Executive of Ofcom, (Ed.Richards@ofcom.org.uk). The second is to be addressed to your local MP in order to raise parliamentary awareness of the issues and concerns of those involved. In order to find the contact details of your local MP, you should visit the following website and enter your postcode: http://www.parliament.uk/about/contacting/mp/.

Further, we would be grateful if you could circulate this letter, and the two attachments, to other interested parties in order that we can continue to raise awareness about this particularly important consultation.

BEIRG Steering Committee.