Following on from my rant about the Royal Wedding callsigns here I emailed the RSGB Royal Wedding NoV email address to express my views that I was disappointed how Ofcom handled the matter of issuing NoVs to clubs inconsistently. This is the reply I received.
Ofcom advice is that any station operating using the “R” prefix (whether or not a NoV was issued) would have been operating outside the terms of the Licence in the event that the Licence was not “personal”.
So what they’re saying there is that even if a club was issued with an NoV to add an ‘R’ to their prefix, they’re actually operating outside of the terms of their licence if they use that prefix!
This is an absolute farcical situation. Somehow Ofcom have issued NoVs to clubs for callsigns they’re not allowed to use. I can’t see anything specifically on my NoV which states that it’s for “personal” licence holders only so none of these clubs can be blamed for using the R prefix but according to Ofcom they were operating “outside the terms of their licence” every time they transmitted. So they were pirates, huh? I hope that given the fact the NoVs were issued incorrectly that these breaches will be ignored.
I do appreciate the work that was done to issue these NoVs but surely the whole thing could have been done better. A simple announcement in the London Gazette that gave all individual licencees permission to use an R prefix would have been a much simpler and cheaper solution. I hate to think how much it cost to administer this scheme but an announcement in the London Gazette of up to twenty lines would have cost a mere £47.75 and the job would be done.
I’m hearing stories that there may be a similar temporary callsign for the Olympics next year and I hope it’s handled better than this has been.