Feeds

Ofcom cracks down on London pirates

Air traffic and fire brigade breathe sigh of relief

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Ofcom has shut down 22 pirate radio stations in a combined operation with Hackney, Haringey, Tower Hamlets, and Islington boroughs, arresting three people, raiding one studio, and writing angry letters to 20 night clubs whose advertising was funding the broadcasts.

The regulator's last crackdown was in 2005, when it closed the door on 53 illegal broadcasters.

Ofcom claims the pirate stations interfere with air traffic control and fire brigade radios, though with the pirates operating between 94 and 107.4MHz they would seem well clear of the London fire brigade, which uses 80, 149 and 462MHz for its various communications.

Air traffic systems are closer to the FM band (between 108 and 137MHz), so interference is possible, if unlikely.

Wireless Waffle generously suggests the interference comes from commercial stations in Eastern Europe, rather than local pirate stations.

Ofcom conducted a survey of London adults, which found that six out of 10 "were concerned when told that illegal broadcasting can cause interference and disruption to the communication systems used by safety-of-life services".

One has to wonder what the other four were thinking.

Mostly, pirate radio stations interfere with legitimate, licence-paying services and (according to Ofcom), illegal broadcasters often use violence to gain access to the roof-tops they need to site their transmitters.

Apparently, stations are also used to communicate with drug dealers, by playing specific songs to indicate shipments, and to fund the drug trade.

It seems likely this crackdown was motivated by commercial stations seeing their listeners drift off to pirate equivalents.

Most of the stations will be back on the air pretty quickly, and Ofcom's action is unlikely to deter the other 150 stations reckoned to be operating in London at any given moment. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.