Interference to business radio

Published: 22 August 2023

Interference to business radio is normally caused by:

  • electromagnetic disturbance from apparatus or installations;
  • poor immunity or receiver selectivity;
  • multiple users using the same channel at the same time in close range (congestion); or
  • unlicensed use of wireless telegraphy apparatus.

Read more about the causes of interference.

What you can do

The Federation of Communication Services (FCS) is a not-for-profit industry association for organisations which deliver voice and data communications for business and public sector customers in the UK. You can find guidance on reducing interference in its Code of Practice for Business Radio Site Engineering.

Where a radio station or apparatus is affected by interference and help is needed to improve the immunity or selectivity, you should contact a reputable contractor.

How we can help

In exceptional circumstances, we may investigate interference to business radio equipment where we’re satisfied that:

  • the interference is harmful;
  • it is outside of your control;
  • all reasonable steps have been taken to minimise the effect.

We may send out an engineer to investigate. However, you could be liable for the cost of the investigation if we find that the criteria above have not been met.

What is harmful interference?

An electromagnetic disturbance or noise is not in itself ‘harmful’ interference.

Interference to radio communications is considered harmful if:

  • it creates danger, or risks of danger, in relation to the functioning of any service provided by means of wireless telegraphy for the purposes of navigation or otherwise for safety purposes
  • it degrades, obstructs or repeatedly interrupts anything which is being broadcast or otherwise transmitted by means of wireless telegraphy and in accordance with a wireless telegraphy licence, or a grant of recognised spectrum access or otherwise lawfully.

It is unlikely that Ofcom would investigate a report of interference that is not regarded as ‘harmful’. It's not our policy, and we don’t have powers to do this effectively.

Report interference

Before reporting interference to us, you should:

  1. log all incidents for at least a week with the time, date and station or apparatus affected;
  2. establish that the source of harmful interference is not within your control (for example within your own property);
  3. make sure the affected station or apparatus is functioning correctly.

Contact us for advice and assistance, or complete our interference to business radio form.

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