Ymyriant a gorfodaeth


Ofcom's radio licensing system aims to secure efficient use of the spectrum and manage harmful interference.  

Interference can arise from a number of sources, not all of which can be controlled by regulation - for example, atmospheric conditions. The regulatory regime does not necessarily guarantee that interference will not arise.

In addition, the person owning or using any electrical apparatus is responsible for ensuring that it does not cause harmful interference to others. They may be required to rectify any interference issues.

The BBC is responsible for dealing with complaints of interference to domestic television and radio reception except where the source is an unlicensed broadcast station. Ofcom will offer advice and assistance, and where appropriate investigate, where we receive reports of harmful interference from consumers and citizens.

Illegal broadcasting, otherwise known as pirate radio, is the operation of an unlicensed and unregulated radio station. Illegal broadcast stations cause widespread and indiscriminate interference.

What to do if you would like to report any information about illegal broadcast stations.

Radio frequency heating (RFH) machines belong to a class of apparatus known as Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) equipment which is used in a wide range of applications. RFH machines use high power radio waves in applications such as wood glue drying, plastic welding and sealing, textile dye fixing, textile drying and food processing.

Interference from Radio Frequency Heating (RFH) machines
PDF, 48.0 KB

The purpose and method of enforcement

We have a range of measures at our disposal in seeking to secure compliance with the law and to ensure a proportionate response to transgressions. We may offer information and advice, issue warnings, serve notices, issue fixed penalty notices, issue simple cautions (England and Wales only) and may prosecute (or report to the Procurator Fiscal with a view to prosecution in Scotland).

The principles of enforcement

Ofcom upholds the principles of firm and impartial enforcement underpinned by the principle of proportionality.

Prosecution

England and Wales

In England and Wales Ofcom brings prosecutions for spectrum-related offences, like illegal (pirate) radio broadcasting. The decision to proceed with a court case rests with Ofcom.

In appropriate cases, Ofcom is likely to consider both the evidence and the public interest. We may have regard to the CPS's Code for Crown Prosecutors.

Scotland

In Scotland the Procurator Fiscal brings prosecutions. The decision about whether to bring a prosecution is the Procurator Fiscal's. This may be on the basis of a submission by Ofcom.

Action by the courts

Legislation gives the courts considerable scope to punish offenders and to deter others, including imprisonment for some offences. Unlimited fines may be imposed by higher courts. The courts can also order offenders to forfeit expensive equipment and to pay Ofcom's prosecution costs.

With the ever-increasing demand for radio based services, monitoring of the radio spectrum plays a vital role today in keeping the spectrum clean for authorised users, particularly the emergency services. It is also an essential and integral part of the spectrum management process, producing and evaluating data to aid spectrum managers in their day-to-day work. The radio monitoring station, located near Baldock in Hertfordshire, is Ofcom's 'listening ear' on the radio spectrum.

The monitoring station today has a much broader spectrum monitoring capability than when it began life in 1929. Its original role was to monitor the international HF radio circuits operated by the General Post Office (GPO), which followed on from historic first transatlantic radio telephony services received at the site from New Jersey, USA.

About Baldock radio monitoring station PDF, 986.7 KB

Mae Ofcom yn cymryd camau gorfodi ar draws nifer o sectorau diwydiant ac mae’n gallu defnyddio ystod o bwerau statudol sydd wedi’u caniatáu, ymysg eraill, gan Ddeddf Cyfathrebiadau 2003, Deddf Cystadleuaeth 1998, Deddf Menter 2002, Deddf Darlledu 1990, Deddf Darlledu 1996, Rheoliadau’r UE a Deddf Telegraffiaeth Ddi-wifr 2006.

Rydym yn cymryd camau gorfodi er budd dinasyddion a defnyddwyr er mwyn:

  • annog cystadleuaeth
  • datrys anghydfodau rheoleiddio rhwng darparwyr gwasanaethau cyfathrebu
  • gorfodi cyfraith amddiffyn defnyddwyr
  • annog cydymffurfio
  • amddiffyn aelodau o’r cyhoedd rhag cynnwys deunyddiau sy'n achosi tramgwydd a niwed, rhag cael eu trin yn annheg a rhag tarfu ar breifatrwydd yn ddiangen mewn rhaglenni teledu a radio
  • amddiffyn a rheoli’r sbectrwm radio

Mae Ofcom yn pennu ac yn gorfodi rhwymedigaethau rheoleiddiol, yn ogystal â gorfodi’r gyfraith gyffredinol. Mae gennym gyfres o egwyddorion rheoleiddio cyffredinol i arwain ein ffordd o weithredu, gan gynnwys ein bod:

  • yn gweithredu gyda gogwydd yn erbyn ymyrryd, ond â pharodrwydd i ymyrryd yn gadarn, yn ddiymdroi ac yn effeithiol pan fydd angen
  • yn ceisio sicrhau y bydd ein hymyriadau’n seiliedig ar dystiolaeth, yn gymesur, yn gyson, yn atebol ac yn dryloyw o ran ystyriaeth ac o ran canlyniadau
  • bob amser yn ceisio defnyddio'r mecanweithiau rheoleiddio lleiaf ymwthiol er mwyn cyflawni ein hamcanion polisi

Yn ymarferol, mae hyn yn golygu ein bod yn gwneud penderfyniadau ar sail tystiolaeth ac yn mynnu bod gweithredwyr yn y farchnad gyfathrebu yn glynu wrth y rheolau. Os bydd gweithredwyr yn torri’r rheolau hyn yn ddifrifol, yn gyson neu'n fwriadol, neu'n gwneud hynny mewn unrhyw ffordd arall y byddwn yn ystyried bod angen ymyriad, yna byddwn yn cymryd camau gorfodi pendant.

Mae’r agwedd hon yn amddiffyn dinasyddion a defnyddwyr rhag arferion niweidiol, ond yn caniatáu lefel briodol o ryddid i’r diwydiant gystadlu ac arloesi. Mae’n bwrw ymlaen â'n prif ddyletswyddau, sef hyrwyddo buddiannau dinasyddion mewn perthynas â materion cyfathrebu a defnyddwyr mewn marchnadoedd perthnasol.