PLT debated in parliament

The issue of interference to short wave from power line networking devices was debated in Parliament yesterday. You can view the televised debate here. It’s quite long, but worth watching if you can spare the time.

If you don’t, here’s a summary: The only complaints are from a few hobby radio amateurs and the number of complaints has been too few to justify banning a technology that brings potential benefits to millions of homes.

Other points: “Hobby radio amateurs are not legally entitled to a completely clean radio spectrum”, and “no specific limits on interference levels have been set so that radio users can adapt as the use of PLT technology evolves.” It is also projected that the number of installed PLT devices will quadruple by the year 2020. So this spectrum-destroying interference will be coming soon to an antenna near you!

I’m afraid that the writing is on the wall for amateur radio. In today’s world, the only things that count are money and big business vested interests. There are too few radio hobbyists to count at the ballot box and they don’t contribute anything to the country that can be measured in financial terms. So we are just going to have to “adapt” to increasing interference levels by giving up hope of receiving weak signals, confining our activities to quiet portable locations, or using modes like D-Star which are interference-free once the signal level rises above the noise threshold.

I think we just saw a death sentence passed on our hobby!

Julian Moss, G4ILO, is a regular contributor to and writes from Cumbria, England. Contact him at [email protected].

2 Responses to “PLT debated in parliament”

  • Rory Deans ZL3HB:

    Rubbish – death knoll my a……….. We’re better than that! We’ll evolve & change with the times. Definately more digital modes etc but we’ll still be here. Just gonna have to work around the crud. Maybe that’s where our experimenting should be as others ( commercial ) are also going to need to get around it. See you out there!

  • Clive GM4FZH:

    You can’t expect MPs to understand technical subjects such as radio and interference. They are the most ignorant when technology is discussed. The UK always tries to kill the enthusiasm of technically minded people because it is only making money that is the prime motive. I believe Adam Smith said that Capitalism is the system but with a social conscience. The social conscience has gone from the UK, it’s just rip-off, make bucks and the richer get richer. It is sad that MPs cannot understand technology and some of its associated problems, they certainly don’t understand amateur radio and technically based hobbies. It looks a bleak future in the UK. If only I was younger I would get out of the UK now – I am a retired professional Electronic/Electrical Engineer.

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