Ofcom proposes that people with “power line” networking equipment could face prosecution if it interferes with radio signals
Thousands of homeowners could face prosecution if their broadband persistently interferes with radio signals, under Ofcom proposals published after lobbying by intelligence agency GCHQ.
The Government agency has become increasingly concerned in recent years about “power line” networking equipment. This allows people to use the mains wiring in their homes to transmit data, as an alternative to a Wi-Fi network, and has been distributed to BT and TalkTalk customers to connect their television set-top boxes to broadband.
Ofcom, the communications watchdog, published a consultation on Monday on new regulations that would allow its officials to issue enforcement notices to shut down such networks when the electromagnetic radiation they can emit interferes with radio signals. Those who fail to comply will face criminal prosecution.
An Ofcom spokesperson said: “Ofcom’s proposals are designed to update existing regulations to take account of developments in technology. They are not in response to requests from any organisation.”
As well as interference causing security issues, regulators also want to ensure that police and ambulance, and air traffic control, services are able to communicate clearly. The BBC has previously said DAB radio broadcasts are affected by power line technology….READ MORE