A small number of two-letter suffix call signs have been issued in error recently. These short-form call signs are anomalous and stem from an IT problem, which we are addressing. Although these call signs are not invalid, per se, licensees who have been issued with one should contact Spectrum Licensing to discuss changing it for a normal format call sign. 0300 123 1000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Representatives of Radio Amateurs in Cornwall approached Ofcom to request temporary use of the RSL ‘K’ (for ‘Kernow’, the Cornish word for Cornwall), following the recognition of the Cornish People under the ‘Framework Convention on National Minorities’. Ofcom has agreed to this request and will permit Radio Amateurs with a Main Station Address in Cornwall to use of the RSL throughout 2016
In common with comparable past temporary RSLs, it will be available for all classes of Amateur Radio licences, including stations participating in contests. We shall authorise the use of ‘K’ by varying individual licences, upon application by licensees via the website of the RSGB. We are grateful to the RSGB for making this facility available.
Eligible licensees will be able to use the RSL ‘K’ anywhere within Cornwall, including at an alternative address, a temporary location, mobile or maritime mobile though Maritime Mobile use would, as usual, be limited to holders of the Full licence.
Use of this RSL will not be mandatory. Licensees not wishing to use it will therefore continue to apply the normal licence rules on RSLs.
We shall make variations available from early December and we shall publish further guidance then. Variations will have a start date of 1st January 2016 (or the date of issue if that is later) and they will all expire on 31st December 2016. The RSL may therefore not be used beyond these dates.
Following the recent notification sent to licensees of our proposal to vary the Amateur Radio Licence, Ofcom has published three Notices of Variation to the Amateur Radio licence. The Notice published on 12 March varies licences in respect of which licensees received a notification dated 5, 12 or 19 January. The Notice published on 20 March varies licences in respect of which licensees received a notification dated 30 January.
The Notice published on 15th June varies licences in respect of which licensees received a notification dated 24th April 2015.
The new licence document had effect from 7 April 2015 (for licences varied by the Notices of 12th and 20th March) and has immediate effect for licences varied by the Notice dated 15th June.
In past years, a number of variations were issued to individual Amateur Radio licensees via the Radio Society of Great Britain (“RSGB”). The letters that the RSGB sent suggested that it was the RSGB who was authorising the use of radio apparatus.
The principal legislation under which we regulate the use of radio is the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006. This says that only Ofcom may grant or vary Amateur Radio licences. The 2006 Act replaced the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, which said that only the Secretary of State (including the RA) could grant or vary Amateur Radio licences. To place it beyond question, therefore, any authorisation not clearly issued by the spectrum regulator (for example letters of authority issued by the RSGB) must now be replaced with a formal variation, issued by Ofcom.
If you are listed and received a variation from Ofcom that was simply processed by the RSGB, you do not need to do anything, as it is clear that those variations were granted by the spectrum regulator.
However, if you have an older variation that was contained in a letter from the RSGB, you should apply to us via the renewals gateway service on www.ukrepeater.net to exchange it for a formal variation issued by Ofcom. This even includes RSGB letters that include text such as
“On behalf of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry”
To obtain your replacement Ofcom variation, the process will require you to confirm:
that you wish us to vary your licence for this purpose
your personal amateur radio call sign and licence number
that your personal amateur radio licence remains valid
the type of facility that was authorised by the RSGB letter (eg packet radio system or beacon)
the call sign and frequency of the facility authorised by the RSGB letter
that the facility authorised by the RSGB letter remains active
that the authorisation contained in the RSGB letter has not been withdrawn, eg by its expiry or by subsequent variation of the licence
current contact details for persons who can switch off the beacon or packet radio system.
If you still have scans of old authorisation letters these would also be helpful.
We shall then assess your request. We shall not replace any RSGB letter that has expired or been cancelled or that varied a licence that has subsequently been surrendered or revoked.
If you believe that you were authorised under a letter from the RSGB but cannot now find it (but you continue to use the facility that it authorised), you should reapply for a variation as if doing so from scratch.
If you had a letter of authority but you no longer use the facility that it authorised, please also notify us via the http://www.ukrepeater.net/ service, with your name, licence number and personal call sign, together with the call sign of the facility that was authorised by the letter of authority. This will make the assigned frequency available for reassignment.