Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Start: 23 July 2012 Status: Closed End: 23 November 2012

Executive Summary

Spectrum for the Games

1.1 This document represents the final update to our spectrum plan for wireless communications for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games ('the Games'). It confirms the provisional conclusion as set out in our draft plan (July 2012) that while there may be high demand for spectrum for key services we will be able to meet demand for the Games.

1.2 The final Spectrum Plan is largely the same as that proposed in the July 2012 consultation although with the addition of spectrum necessary to meet some specific demand for broadcasting and communication applications. This document also explains how we plan to address issues raised in response to operational arrangements for the Games.

1.3 Since publication of the draft spectrum plan we have worked closely with key stakeholders for Glasgow 2014, and also drawn on our own experience of managing spectrum for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (London 2012) in order to understand better the spectrum demand and spectrum management requirements of the Games. The work has been progressed in close cooperation with Commonwealth Games Spectrum Planning Group (COGSPLAG).

1.4 We have decided to publish this update now as we have recently finalised arrangement for the loan of spectrum from other public sector bodies for the Games and are consequently able to address the key issue of spectrum supply raised by respondents to the draft plan.

Ofcom's Role

1.5 Ofcom is responsible for delivering the U.K. Government's Spectrum Guarantees by organising a full spectrum plan for the wireless-based services that the Organising Committee and the wider Games Family (defined in paragraph 2.9 and footnote 2) require for the Games, for arranging all the licences in good time in support of that plan and for ensuring that harmful interference to wireless services is managed. These responsibilities must be seen in the context of two guarantees given by the UK Government to the Commonwealth Games Federation in support of Glasgow bid for the Games. These guarantee the allocation of the spectrum required for the organisation of the Games and the waiving of fees otherwise payable for that spectrum by members of the Games Family.

Securing spectrum supply

1.6 To meet the demands of the Games, we have secured additional spectrum to supplement normal arrangements. The largest supply of this additional spectrum for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has been secured from public sector bodies such as the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The work has been progressed in close cooperation with COGSPLAG.

Day-to-day spectrum use

1.7 We have sought to meet the UK Government's spectrum guarantees with minimum disruption to other, day-to-day users. We also recognise the importance of non-family radio use to the success of the Games. We are working closely with JFMG, who manage programme making and special events (PMSE) spectrum services on our behalf, to establish effective coordination arrangements between Games Family and other PMSE users in the Glasgow area. At present we do not anticipate revoking or varying existing spectrum licences to meet the requirements of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, although, please see paragraphs 4.26-4.28 of this document.


1.8 Although not of the scale of the London 2012 Olympic Games, we recognise that the 2014 Commonwealth Games present a special challenge to normal licensing arrangements due to the volume and variety of requests for spectrum that will be received. Consequently we have established a specific licensing regime for users covered by the Government's spectrum guarantees. The regime will provide for licences to be tailored to the specific needs of the Games Family, and designed to make the most efficient use of the available spectrum.

Interference Management

1.9 We expect the Games to place unprecedented pressure on the use of spectrum within Glasgow. Therefore, a dedicated pool of resources will be deployed to help ensure the Games' success by allowing key wireless services to remain as free from harmful interference as is reasonably practicable and by enforcing spectrum policy.

1.10 As part of our response, we will provide a 'Testing and Tagging' validation service for wireless transmitter equipment that will be used within key Games venues. The purpose of this service will be to establish whether equipment settings were consistent with the authorisation to use the equipment. Where appropriate, we will working with the Organising Committee's security staff to ensure only wireless transmitter equipment that has successfully passed these validation checks is taken into Games venues.

1.11 Ofcom will deploy a network of sensors both within key Games venues and outside the venues to help us to locate the position of interfering radio signal sources. Whilst the final location of any such signal source will always require an experienced Spectrum Engineer on foot, we anticipate that a position location network should allow Ofcom to reduce significantly the time required to resolve any radio interference issues that may arise.

1.12 Before the Glasgow Games, we will ensure the spectrum that will be used during the games is as free from unauthorized use and unwanted emissions as is reasonably practicable.

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