Ofcom measuring background noise

Ofcom have published a Spectrum Roadmap outlining key strands of spectrum-related work they’re aiming to complete. ITU-R Study Group 3 had been measuring background noise levels previously but, at least as far as the publicly available data shows, they seem to have stopped in 2020. The existing data seems quite patchy and appears to include measurements from individual Dutch amateurs.

Ofcom say “We are undertaking a long-term radio noise monitoring campaign in the UK to better understand its impact and how the background noise levels, in particular man-made noise, may change over time.” They go on to say “We aim to extend our campaign in distinct locations across the UK which will help provide a better view of the impact of man-made noise in different environments.”

Unfortunately it does not appear that Ofcom intend doing anything to minimise any rise in noise levels, merely noting “This will help to ensure that we are using appropriate safety margins in spectrum assignments.”

One positive is that Ofcom will be making its data freely available under their open data policy in 2023.

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