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HomePlug PLT & PLA Interference

MORE - PLT QRM:  Page 2   Page 3   Page 4   Page 5

“The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.” - Albert Einstein
"Just because something can be done, doesn't mean that it should be done"  MØMTJ
"QRM" is radio shorthand meaning "I Am Experiencing INTERFERENCE" - and is part of the "Q" Code

> The PLT Issue <           >  More  <         >  PLT is BAD  <

Radio Interference & Spectrum Pollution caused by
PLT / PLA / Powerline Ethernet Adapters:

RSGB EMCC update PLT DANGER -  25th July 2012

Send an email to your MEP's, it is very easy to contact all your MEPs with one message here is the link
(Sample letter here)

In 2011 a PLT EMC standard known as prEN 50561-1 was proposed by CENELEC. The proposed PLT standard was rejected by a majority of the National Standards Committees (NCs) of the EU countries who approve all new standards. Many NCs made comments to help improve the proposed standard, some comments questioned the very high radio pollution levels that would be permitted from PLT devices. Other comments would have helped to improve the test methodology. Usually in these situations the CENELEC committee preparing the proposed standard would take note and make changes that reflect the comments with the aim of achieving full consensus of all stakeholders.

A revised version of the PLT standard is about to be circulated, to be voted on by the NCs. For all intents and purposes we believe it is identical to the previous rejected standard. The valuable and helpful comments from the NCs have essentially been ignored. Representatives of PLT manufacturers dominate the CENELEC Working Group 11 (WG11) that wrote the proposed standard. PLT manufacturers have been aggressively lobbying members of the NCs to approve the standard as it would provide a legal basis for high PLT emission levels.

The EU Commission’s EMC advisor who is responsible for ensuring that all EU EMC standards comply with the EMC Directive has stated that the proposed PLT standard does not meet the Essential Requirements of the EMC Directive and notified CENELEC. However, CENELEC has decided to ignore the advice of the EU EMC advisor and continue with putting the proposed PLT standard out for voting by the NCs.

Should prEN 50561-1 be voted through by the National Committees it risks meaning that manufacturers of virtually any new device or product will want to use the very high radio pollution levels allowed by prEN 50561-1, claiming it as a precedent. An example case being the invertors used to connect solar cells to the grid where a proposed standard will allow pollution levels similar to PLT but at all frequencies so no amateur band notches (a “notch” is a range of frequencies where the transmit power of the PLT device is reduced). Other products that could take advantage of this precedent include LED lighting.

In effect, the proposed PLT standard will make the provisions of the EMC Directive irrelevant. It’s not just HF but higher radio frequencies too are at risk from what will be legally sanctioned pollution. Wireline services could also become victims, new high speed DSL technologies such as could also have issues due to PLT pollution being coupled from power cables to phone cables.

There is only a very short time window to take action to prevent what will be an EMC disaster, many National Committees will vote early, due to the summer vacations. It is absolutely critical that anyone who values unpolluted radio spectrum urgently takes the following actions;

    ¤ Contact your national amateur radio society and ask what they are doing.

¤ Find out who is on your National Standards Committee, contact them and explain the
        situation, it is important that they understand that the proposed PLT standard sets a
        precedent and its approval could lead to widespread spectrum pollution.

   ¤ Get the word out, forward this statement to your local message boards and radio clubs.

When you have a QSO ask other European amateurs if they have heard about this issue.

There is a great deal of “disinformation” being spread by PLT lobbyists, some of the statements that have been made are clarified below;

PLT claim:
Notching will protect the Amateur Bands
The depth of the notch will depend on how linear the power network is. Resonances in cabling resulting in high voltage levels of the PLT signals combined with non-linear components in devices such as switched mode power supplies, can lead to the notches “filling in” with “hash” type noise which is difficult to identify as PLT.

PLT claim:
Ratification of EN50561-1 will protect the Amateur Bands
In the same way that PLT manufacturers now flout EN55022 they will be able to flout EN50561-1. It is just that the motivation will be less – at least until the next scheme for increasing data rate comes along. The only aspects of the new Standard that can be verified in the field by National Enforcement Agencies (such as OFCOM in the UK) are the maximum transmit level and the positions of the Notching Band edges. Within the new Standard the maximum transmit level is set at a higher level than today’s typical PLT transmit power levels, and the notched frequencies follow today’s practice as set by long-standing commercial considerations.

PLT claim:
EN 50561-1 will control PLT emissions, as there is currently no PLT standard.
PLT devices are covered by EN 55022 which is the EMC standard for IT equipment — this has been confirmed by the EU Commission.

PLT claim: PLT cannot work at EN 55022 levels.
PLT devices can work at EN 55022 levels in most situations. Running at high power ensures PLT works in the remaining 1% of “difficult” situations. Mesh networking can address almost all of these difficult situations. High levels of pollution could result in “spectrum cleansing” where other spectrum users abandon spectrum to PLT due to PLT pollution.    Page 23

PLT claim:
Dynamic notching will protect the broadcast bands.
Dynamic notching was committed to be implemented in Quarter 3 of 2010 by PLT manufacturers to PA Consulting. PA Consulting was researching PLT on behalf of the Ofcom (UK regulator). This failure to demonstrate dynamic notching in production units could mean that it doesn’t actually work in the real world. This may be confirmed by the fact that there is no requirement in EN50561-1 that dynamic notching work in the presence of any interference (PLT for example).   Pages 22 and 23

PLT claim:
Power control will reduce PLT pollution levels.
Power control was committed to be implemented in Quarter 2 of 2010 by PLT manufacturers to PA Consulting which was researching PLT on behalf of the Ofcom (UK regulator). This function has yet to be seen in production devices. PA consulting based its conclusions and recommendations on this commitment and the failure to deliver on this commitment makes a significant difference in the report’s conclusions.   Page 57
The power control requirement in EN50561-1 is specified using an unrealistic test situation.

Produced by the EMC Committee of RSGB 25 July 2012.

For more information contact the EMCC via the EMC pages of the RSGB website

Send an email to your MEPs, it is very easy to contact all your MEPs with one message here is the link
(Sample letter here)

Produced by the EMC Committee of RSGB 25 July 2012

For more information contact the EMCC via the EMC pages of the RSGB website

M5FRA  /  G8FRA  -

PLT: PowerLine Telecoms Networking is a technology that can be used for computer networking. It is also proven by EMC experts to be extremely harmful to the radio spectrum by causing very severe radio interference. PowerLine Networking is being widely promoted by telecoms and computer companies - despite NOT complying with accepted technical standards known as Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC).

This technology is also referred to variously as PowerLine Telecoms - PLT, PowerLine Networking - PLN, PowerLine Adapters - PLA, HomePlug networking and sometimes as 'BPL'.  HomePlug adapters, PLA's, are the electronic devices used to create a network by transmitting wide-band radio signals all across the H.F. radio band. The most common and most disruptive adapters are the Comtrend type, supplied by British Telecom with their BT Vision service.

If you are thinking of buying Powerline Networking Devices then DON'T !

"In simple terms - Ofcom might understand simple: It is not morally correct or acceptable for an 'unlicenced', 'wired'(therefore NOT wireless) communications system to be designed, sold, put into use, etc so as to wipeout an internationally used, licenced, important, finite resource. The 'Polluter Pays' seems very relevant here, and it is not as though this is new or has suddenly appeared overnight or even that it is JUST Radio Amateurs who are complaining, there is the EMC industry to mention just one." G8BLS

The BBC highlights problems with PLT:

PowerLine Networking adapters are being pushed by computer suppliers such as PC World and Maplin etc under many brand names including Belkin, Netgear, Devolo, Linksys etc. PowerLine Network Adapters cause terrible radio interference - they are completely unnecessary - the certainly do not conform with essential requirements of the UK's EMC regulations and some would argue that they might even be illegal in terms of the Wireless Telegraphy Act:

NOTE: A better and more reliable can easily be established at a fraction of the cost of PLT by using a very simple and very cheap and reliable network cable.

BT / ComTrend PLT
                                AdapterUsing a passive network cable is also FAR GREENER since it consumes no additional energy - unlike a  PLT adapter which will invariably be left powered up continually therefore wasting expensive electricity 24 hours a day, adding to the carbon footprint.

More About PLT / HomePlug Networking and Why it is BAD >>

Help save world band radio from "PLT" -  If you are thinking of buying Powerline Ethernet Devices then DON'T - Please Reconsider.

Known as "Home Plug" these devices emit constant and Harmful radio Interference around the clock. Do you really want to live in an Electromagnetic Field for 24 hrs a day ?

These devices DO NOT conform to the EU EMC directive, as proven by several independent Formal Compliance Tests by leading EMC labs. Their 'legal' certification was obtained via an "alternative" as it is known in the
E.U. Just one of these devices emit as much interference as 1000 legally conforming devices plugged into the same electrical outlet. Report any interference to your Spectrum Regulator - G7CNF - video

Not only do radio listeners, enthusiasts, short wave listeners and licensed radio amateurs have to withstand the onslaught of unwarranted radio interference from HomePlug devices but there are also poorly designed plasma screen televisions and switch mode power supplies that are fitted in personal computers and supplied with an ever increasing number of gadgets, mobile phones and computer games consoles.

Years ago, when radio interference was taken seriously, by having sufficient and proper electromagnetic compatibility regulation (unlike Ofcom), these problems would be addressed. However as Britain is continually dumbed down, these standards have been left to slip - encouraged, it seems, by the dark shadow that is the European Union - E.U.

Important Reading:  Download the BBC R&D White Paper study on PLT and radio broadcasting

Radio enthusiasts unite to fight off new powerline comms (PLT) standard

If you tolerate this, your ADSL (broadband internet connection) will be next to suffer interference from PLT  

The Radio Society of Great Britain is mobilising Europe's radio amateurs in protest against the forthcoming standard for powerline networking, predicting dire consequences if existing standards aren't applied.

The society has issued a call to arms (PDF with lots of details) in protest at the new standard for powerline telecommunications (PLT), which seeks to regulate a technology which some argue has fallen between the cracks of existing legislation, but the RSGB has long argued that the more-stringent EN55022 would cover PLT tech perfectly adequately if only it were applied properly.

The new regulation – EN50561 – proposes much higher permitted levels of radio pollution, meaning PLT kit-makers could take advantage of this – thus muddying the spectrum for amateur radio enthusiasts. This is in contrast to the regulation the amateurs would like to see enforced: EN55022, which is much more stringent about radiated emissions testing.

PLT kit sends signals over domestic mains wiring, but as that wiring is almost entirely unshielded, it acts as an enormous antenna so the networking signal can blanket the neighbourhood with unwanted radio. Existing PLT kit uses a narrow signal band which only really upsets radio amateurs, but newer devices are pushing up into FM bands and down into those used for ADSL connections.

ADSL operates over copper phone lines, but if those are running alongside mains wiring then cross-interference is very possible.

Ofcom, the UK regulator, argues that it has had almost no complaints from radio users, but that's hardly surprising given that such complaints are handled by the BBC these days, not to mention that most listeners will blame their radio rather than consider their PLT kit might be causing the problem.

Ofcom also argues that it's powerless to do anything, as it only regulates radio transmitters. The regulator has long been pointing to the new standard's status as "in development" (numbered EN50561) as "proof" that regulations don't exist (despite assertions from the European Commission that EN55022 is applicable), and has added that even if EN55022 did apply, it's too vague to be useful.

EN55022 currently requires kit bearing the CE Mark to avoid interfering with existing radio users, but once the new legislation passes the RSGB fears that it "risks manufacturers of virtually any new device or product wanting to use the very high radio pollution levels allowed by prEN 50561-1, claiming it as a precedent", leading to a more-polluted spectrum across the dial.

The RSGB reckons the new regulations were largely drafted by manufacturers of PLT kit, and is calling on amateurs around the EU to get in touch with their reps who'll be voting on the measure over the summer.

(By Bill Ray - The Register Posted in Wireless, 6th August 2012 -

HomePlug Devices Fail Basic Electromagnetic Compatibility Tests . . . . and must therefore be illegal

All electrical equipment, including TV sets, have to pass strict British Standards and EC tests to ensure that they do NOT inject radio signals into 230 volt mains electrical wiring.

BT Comtrend units and similar HomePlug PLT products do precisely this and thus FAIL all the necessary tests by an extremely large margin. This is extremely flawed an illegal technology.

Detailed Technical Studies and Evidence from the ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY CENTRE


Despite the best efforts of the EU and OFCOM supported by BIS to bury opposition to Broadband PLT there are many that will ensure this will not happen and for very good technical reasons, all of which have been highlighted in various articles published in this journal.  These have now all been published in a single document called "Greedy PLT".  This can be downloaded from this website here:

PowerLine Networking - PLT - and WHY IT IS BAD

is a group fighting to protect the precious radio spectrum from the illigitimate (borderline illegal) "Land Grab" of radio frequencies being made by greedy and unethical PLT equipment manufacturers:

PLT adapters (PLA's) are used to set up a home network by passing signals over the mains wires of the house. These signals may carry video and or other computer data. To do this they use the almost all of the shortwave spectrum, usually 24 hours a day. Even when there is no data being carried, the British Telecom UPA Comtrend type (BT Vision system) adapters continue to radiate radio signals thereby causing radio interference to other - licensed - users.

Severe interference from Power Line Adaptors (Powerline Ethernet) renders the use of valuable short wave radio frequencies impossible. The shortwave band is large, it stretches from 3MHz to 30MHz. Sprecific frequencies (wavelengths) or groups of frequencies within the short wave band have been allocated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for specific, authorised, legitimate and licensed uses. These include licensed radio broadcasting stations (news, information and entertainment programmes); legitimate and fully licensed radio amateurs; utility services; armed forces; NATO etc.

A Willful Disregard for Licensed and Legitimate Radio Users

PLT manufacturers and equipment suppliers (such as British Telecom) have willfully disregarded all such authorized and licensed uses by transmitting radio interference ("QRM") across the regulated radio bands.

Interference from PLT ranges from across the whole of the H.F., shortwave band, rendering it useless to legitimate and authorised radio users.

Because ordinary household mains wiring is used by PLT adapters is un-screened it act like a huge radio antenna, so the interference caused by the PLT adapters will be transmitted far and wide outside of the house concerned.

This has nothing to do with Internet access or being connected - no one needs power line ethernet to use the Internet, a home network or even the BT Vision system.

Radio enthusiasts, radio amateurs and the UKQRM group are not trying to stop people being connected to the Internet!!  They all use it every day, just like almost everyone else!


From the in a recent article about BPL technology

Two Types Of PLT Adapter

There are currently two types of these adaptors:
(1) Universal Powerline Association (UPA) as used by the BT Comtrend adaptors
(2) The Home Plug Power Alliance (HPA) adapters. These can be less intrusive than the UPA (Comtrend type) adapters, but nevertheless remain a problem.

EMC regulations Do Apply  - but manufacturers chose to ignore them

PLT / PLA / BPL manufactures and British Telecom attempt to claim that The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 does not to apply to them despite the fact that PLT is without question a radio transmitter. PLT would not work without generating and transmitting
radio energy into the mains wires which are no different from any other un-screened wire.

So the EMC regulations 'do' apply and we know that PLT does not meet them.

EMC - Electromagnetic Compatibility - The essential requirements of The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 are:

Equipment shall be designed and manufactured, having regard to the state of the art, so as to ensure that:-
(a) the electromagnetic disturbance it generates does not exceed a level above which radio and telecommunications equipment or other equipment cannot operate as intended; and
(b) it has a level of immunity to the electromagnetic disturbance to be expected in its intended use which allows it to operate without unacceptable degradation of its intended use.

Part III, General Requirements - Apparatus:

15.No person shall place on the market apparatus unless either the following requirements, or the corresponding requirements of the EMC Directive as implemented under the law of another state in the Community, are met.

Ofcom - The UK's - so called - spectrum Regulator

The Office of Communications "Ofcom" is the independent body (and therefore a presumably unanswerable quango) installed by the Labour government in 2003 under the Office of Communications Act of 2002.

Ofcom know that HomePlug PLT systems (as supplied by Bristish Telecom, PC World, Maplin etc etc) do not meet basic EMC requirement demanded by law. However, from its inception, Ofcom has had no duty to set and maintain regulation of technical standards so is Ofcom unfit for purpose?.....more

Home Plug PLT Adapters can also interfere with broadband internet connections and wireless devices

Experiences have shown that interference (non EMC compliance) from PLT adapters can considerably slow a broadband internet connections and  interfere with wireless mice and keyboards causing them to malfunction.

The continuing PLT / PLA Interference Problem in 2010

October 2010:

CISPR to start from scratch on PLT

The CISPR PLT Project Team reached the end of their mandate period of five years, without producing a useful document which would guarantee the ongoing protection of radio services.

This means that work done during the past ten years has not been fruitful. CISPR will have to start from zero.

In the interim workgroup 6 of the SABS Technical Committees 73 and 80 which is chaired by the SARL representative, Hans van de Groenendaal, met during the past week and reviewed the draft regulations that were prepared with the workgroup's input by ICASA (South Africa's regulator). Some minor enhancements were proposed.

As part of the regulations, companies intending to install PLT systems have to register all details on a publicly available data base.

The SARL (South African Radio League) is keeping a close watch on developments.
While our wishes to have all amateur frequencies notched were not accepted, there is a clear understanding by the vendors of PLT equipment that taking care of notching of Amateur frequencies is a prerequisite for a successful network.
The interference mitigation process included in the draft regulations provide for fast remedial action should interference on HF be experienced.

Limits used in the draft regulation are the same as in CISPR 22. These limits were the reason why the PLT Project Team could not reach agreement as the majority of the CISPR members were not prepared to lower the limits as demanded by the PLT industry.

South Africa's representative at CISPR, Eric Winter, did a sterling job putting all his efforts into ensuring that sanity prevailed in favour of protection of HF.

CISPR is the Special International Committee on Radio Interference of the International Electro technical Commission, IEC, with central office in Geneva, Switzerland. It is concerned with the development of standards regarding electromagnetic interference and most of these standards are adopted by the European Union and many other countries.

News from Southgate Amateur Radio Club - October 2010:
The South African Radio League:

The UK's regulator Ofcom continues to obfuscate over the PLT interference issue and maintain their indifference and inaction over the pollution of the radio spectrum 'airwaves'. Why?

It is often said that it seems Ofcom have a hidden agenda The sections highlighted in the observations below encapsulate the reasons for Ofcom's neglect and total derreliction of duty:

From Karl Fischer, DJ5IL : "PLC trials and deployments have an inglorious and notorious history of interference problems, for example in the USA, the United Kingdom, Austria  and Germany. In parts of the city of Mannheim, Germany, the reception of amateur radio and even broadcasting on shortwave is nearly impossible due to harmful interference caused by PLC. "Genuine complaints that are upheld by the regulator are few" simply because many administrations boost PLC due topolitical reasons and pressure from the PLT lobby and at the same time the regulating authority in many countries ironically is subordinate to the department of commerce, which is interested in a flourishing industry but not in the protection of radio services. And while it is partly true that national regulators have powers to shut down sources of interference, it is also true that most of them notoriously neglect complaints of individual broadcasting listeners and radio amateurs because they know only too well that they will hardly be sued for inactivity, simply because most individuals are not able to fight out an administrative lawsuit."

"Many administrations and the PLT lobby seem to favour sort of postponed interference management where the protection of radio services is merely an option. This attitude does not only show a lacking sense of responsibility, it is also very opportunistic, shortsighted & dangerous. For example, what happens if harmful interference is caused by the cumulated disturbances of a large number of individual PLT devices ? Who is responsible ? Which devices to shut down ? How to stop the harmful interference ? In fact, protection of radio services is not an option but an obligation anchored within the ITU Radio Regulations as well as within the latest EU EMC directive."

The protection of radio services is certainly not a "new versus old technology issue" - shortwave radio is alive and well as long as the precious shortwave spectrum is not spoiled by dirty technologies like PLT."

Ofcom should explain themselves.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948-1998
Article 19 says:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

In this respect the deliberate or otherwise jamming of world band radio (shortwave) and amateur transmissions is in direct conflict with this act!

HomePlug PLT &
                              PLA Interference

Are You Suffering PLT / HomePlug / BPL Interference?

More BPL Interference Information:


If you suffer interference from Broadband by PowerLine adapters near you the fist thing to do is contact Ofcom, the spectrum regulator. Ofcom should instigate an investigation to find and remove the source of the interference. This has happened in many cases so far.

Perhaps if Ofcom have to investigate too many PLT / BT HomePlug interference cases, the time and money that they are wasting in doing so may prompt them into thinking about outlawing these terrible devices!

Ofcom contact details:
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road

If you want to complain to Ofcom please call 020 7981 3040 or 0300 123 3333.
Switchboard: 020 7981 3000 or 0300 123 3000
Fax: 020 7981 3333

Why Are Maplin Selling Illegal PLT Home Plug Devices from Netgear, Belkin and Devolo
- & Do They Even Realise The Consequences?

An excellent question from Kit, GM4EMX to the UKQRM Forum

Dear Group.

I have really been focused and maybe a bit blinkered on just thinking BT Vision and the BT Comtrend units.

However I had a a few minutes in my busy weekend (like us all never seems to be enough hours in the day). I popped into Maplins here in Aberdeen. I was surprised to realise how many PLA's on sale Develo, Belkin, Netgear and so on.

Also there present advert along the lines of "Why use Wireless with all its problems for routing your data - switch to a PLA. Set up in minutes with no problems" words to that effect!

So I asked to see the manager and politely explained I was not there to cause trouble. Nor to get him into trouble with his area manager etc.. But that I would like to point out some facts about the PLA's he was selling:

* PLT causes interference to the SW spectrum.

* PTL is a conflict of interest with the Shortwave receivers and CB equipment that he was also selling in the store.

* Was he aware of what and how PLAs worked ?

Plus a few other points relevant to us all. He was very interested and said head office had not told him anything and he
was not aware of what I was advising him.

I asked if I could pop back later with some literature (the ones that where posted on this group to hand out to neighbours). He said by all means, and this was duly done the next day. He was taken aback by what he read and disappeared into his office. He may file the sheets under File13, but even if he only raises a few questions, it is spreading the word.

I am sure we are all doing our bit? I now intend to visit Comet, PC World and Curry's outlets in the coming weeks here in Aberdeen.

Regards (73)

Supporting UKQRM working group, please visit
RSARS (Royal Signals Amateur Radio Society)
GGA (Grenadier Guards Association)
RSA (Royal Signals Association)
AFSA (Air Formation Signals Association)
GMDX; RSGB; Aberdeen ARC

How this has been allowed to happen?

1 - I would point out the threat of severe or insurmountable levels of radio interference to the H.F. / short wave band from BPL / Home Plug Adapters that face the various radio users of the band. I would add that the H.F. band is allocated to, amongst others, CB Radio, International Radio broadcasting, Amateur Radio, Aircraft Communications and Military Communications.

2 - I would term the interference caused by BPL / Home Plug Adapters as "Spectrum Abuse" because the devices do not use one discrete narrow band frequency - as a normal radio transmitter would - but whole swathes of, almost indiscriminate, wide band modulation across the HF band from 2MHz to 30 MHz. - If any other licensed radio operator or radio service caused this level of interference, Ofcom would require the transmitter / station to be closed down. It appears that the enforced removal of BPL interference by Ofcom might not be possible as it would otherwise be for any other transmitting station.

3 - Considering that Ofcom are, at present at least, investigating interference to users of the HF band by BPL adapters what, if any real action can the authorities take against the owners and users of such devices? Do Ofcom have any actual powers, or is it the case that they can merely request that the owner removes the BPL device, and if the user refuses to do so then no further action can be taken?

4 - I would want to know, considering that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the World Administrative Radio Conferences (WARC) carefully plan the use of the radio bands, why and how manufacturers of BPL / Home Plug Adapters can suddenly dictate that they will use the whole of the H.F. spectrum from 2MHz to 30MHz causing severe interference to any nearby radio users?

5 - I would also like to know if the sale of BPL / Home Plug devices has been forced upon the UK by big business interests and/or has this been forced upon the UK by dictate from the European Parliament in Brussels, and does our government have any power over this matter; if it does, then can or would the government consider outlawing BPL / Home Plug devices?

6 - I would probably also say something about BT's role in the matter.

BT used to be the enforcers of the radio spectrum's use and as such would remove sources of interference. It now seems that the tables have been completely turned and that BT and their own home plug adapters are the cause of radio interference and spectrum abuse.

Additionally several other types of BPL adapter are now being widely marketed to the general public by many well known retailers such as Maplin, Argos, PC World and many, if not most, other computer retailers.

The general public is, of course, largely ignorant to the facts surrounding BPL / Home Plug devices and entirely unaware of the spectrum abuse problems that are being unleashed, slowly but surely, across the land.      Click - MORE >>>



How to find your local MP:

Postal address to send letters to your MP:

House of Commons

How to find your MEP's, Councillors, MP, MSPs, or
Northern Ireland, Welsh and London AMs :

Postal Address for MEP's:

European Parliament
Bât. Altiero Spinelli
60, rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60


Spectrum Abuse
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road

The Department Of Culture Media an Sport:

Department for Culture Media & Sport
2-4 Cockspur Street


Electromagnetic Compatibility
Radio Society of Great Britain

3 Abbey Court
Fraser Road,
Priory Business Park
MK44 3WH

What Is BT Going To Do About This Interference?

DR Chris Tuppen
BT Head of Sustainable Development and Corporate Accountability
BT Group plc,
BT Centre,
81 Newgate Street,
London EC1A 7AJ


Feedback (Letters To The Editor)
Radio User Magazine
PW Publishing Limited
Arrowsmith Court
BH18 8PW

Practical Wireless Magazine
PW Publishing Limited
Arrowsmith Court
BH18 8PW

Radcom Magazine
3 Abbey Court
Fraser Road
Priory Business Park
MK44 3WH

Back to the Top ^


RESOURCES - HELP and ASSISTANCE Fighting Against Radio Spectrum Abuse and Interference from PLT Adapters

Radio Society of Great Britain Ltd


UKQRM on Yahoo groups

UK QRM Video

YouTube Video of the Interference

Why PLT is BAD for EMC:
Why Broadband over PLT is bad for Electromagnetic Compaibility by Tim Williams, Elmac Services

Data-Over-Mains - HomePlug might use 2-50 MHz

RSGB Study


Broadband by PowerLine in Australia

Broadband by Powerline (PLC) Interference in the USA:

The Southgate Amateur Radio Club


Examples Of PLT HomePlug (BPL) Interference on YouTube

>  <

>    <

> <

PLT / HomePlug Links

BPL Database - USA :

The Curse of BPL :

The following is from The EMC Journal, issue 85, November 2009
Log in to the EMC Information Centre to download the journals and full articles:

Why Ofcom is not fit for purpose - The PLT issue

Firstly - the staff and engineers of Ofcom are, without any doubt, excellent people who are unquestionably helpful and professional. The problem with Ofcom is not their excellent staff, it's the structure and remit of the organization created by Government and its Chief Executive. Ofcom's primary function, it appears, is to maximise the amount of money made for the Exchequer, rather than to instill technical excellence.

Text in blue are quotations from the OFCOM document 2.9.2009.

Ofcom’s  PLT  statement of  2nd  September this  year ( is a prime example of why it is not fit for purpose as a spectrum regulator and protector. Almost every line contains things that are economical with the truth, irrelevant, or spin – that is, when they are not blatant misdirection, or just plain insulting. Let’s look at a few quotes from it....

“Ofcom has exercised its enforcement functions under the EMC Regulations. Ofcom has investigated alleged breaches  of  the  EMC  regulations  resulting  from  the supply of Comtrend PLT apparatus by BT...... On the evidence,  Ofcom  has  not  so  far  found  that  there  is  a
breach of the EMC essential requirements. Ofcom has therefore  decided  against  taking  further  enforcement action at this time”

But what “evidence” are they talking about? Of the technical evidence submitted in formal complaints by the UKQRM group (  and  by  the RSGB,  Ofcom  has  refused  to respond to any of it.

By  all  accounts  Ofcom  has  undertaken  no  technical  tests  or examined  the  Comtrend  PLT  devices  (the  ones  that  are  the subject  of  all  Ofcom’s  complaints  of  interference  from  PLT devices) against the points made in these complaints.

The  RSGB’s  complaint  (published  on  their  website, was made on 31 July, just four weeks before Ofcom’s PLT statement. That’s hardly sufficient time for them to consider the evidence in detail and then write their response, if they could actually have been bothered to do so. Which they weren’t.

Indeed, their response does not even mention the two central points of RSGB’s complaint:

a)  Comtrend’s PLT products emit conducted noise at levels way above the limits in EN55022, the most relevant EMC product standard

b)  They rely for their EMC Declaration of Conformity on a discredited CISPR committee draft (CISPR/I/89) – simply a committee paper – never a published standard – which anyway was withdrawn several years ago.

Either of these plain and obvious facts should be enough to have their products immediately withdrawn from the entire EU market. That Ofcom have not done so brings the whole process of Single Market Compliance and CE marking into disrepute.

“Over  the  past  12  months  Ofcom  has  received  143 individual PLT interference complaints; all from radio enthusiasts... There are many other users of the HF Band including  long  range  aeronautical  and  oceanic communications,  the  Ministry  of  Defence  and international  broadcasters.  Ofcom  has  not  received complaints of interference to these services.”

Ofcom are apparently suggesting that complaints from radio enthusiasts are not as important as those from professional radio users. Would Ofcom have acted differently if there had been complaints  from  the  professionals? The  EMC  Directive  and the  UK’s  corresponding  2006  EMC  Regulations  do  not discriminate  in  this  way,  and  in  fact  the  EMC  Directive’s Recitals make it clear that Member States must actually protect amateur radio from “electromagnetic disturbance”.

Although professional radio users may not have complained of interference from PLT yet, you can be sure that they have been telling Ofcom how worried they are that it may happen!

As for being economical with the truth, Ofcom’s statement just happens not to mention that  the total number of complaints they have received about PLT interference, in just over a year, is  already their 4th  highest after complaints  about  lighting equipment; thermostats and aerial pre-amps which have been accumulating for several years.

Their statement also just happens not to mention that the rate at which they are receiving complaints of interference from PLT is far higher, per million units sold, than from any other technology.

“Evaluating the complaints received and the evidence so far obtained, Ofcom has concluded that there does not at present appear to be significant public harm arising from this situation.”

Perhaps Ofcom could point to the place in the 2006  EMC Regulations where it says that the number of interference complaints are a factor in determining whether something meets the Essential Requirements or not?  And perhaps they could also point to the place where it says that professional radio
users are more important than mere enthusiasts?

And where does the test of  “significant public harm” arise in the  EMC  Regulations?  None of these issues exist  anywhere other than in the fevered brains of Ofcom’s spin-doctors, who hope to convey the impression that they have some meaning – some relevance to the issue of interference from PLT, which of course they do not.

Ofcom  has  managed  to  get  BT  to  sort  out  many  of  the  143 reported problems with Comtrend PLT products. (BT sell the Comtrend devices bundled with their “BT Vision” product, so that customers don’t have to trail Ethernet cables from room to room, causing unsightly lumps in the carpets).

But the point is that the interference complaints are caused by the fact that these PLT products have a non-EMC-compliant design. If the PLT devices were compliant in the first place, they would most likely not have caused any interference.

“It is recognised that EMC compliant equipment may still, in certain circumstances, have the capacity to cause interference to other radio communications equipment. This  may  happen  due  to  the  manner  in  which  it  is installed or operated.”

Well, yes, but this is irrelevant. This is not a situation where a compliant  device  happens  to  cause  interference  to  a  radio receiver. Comtrend PLT devices are designed in such a way that they are almost certain to cause interference when operated in the vicinity of an HF (short-wave) receiver.

And as to “the manner in which they are installed” – how is this even possible? All you do is plug them in – how wrong can you get that?

“Is  there  an  EU  harmonised  standard  for  PLT?   No. The EU has not yet published a suitable harmonised standard for this type of apparatus.”

There is no standard specifically  for  PLT, but PLT is quite clearly  already  covered  by  EN  55022  –  whose  conducted emissions limits the Comtrend devices exceed by about 30dB.

And as for creating “a suitable harmonised standard for this type  of  apparatus”  –  it  seems  that  this  may  prove to be impossible (see later).

“Are  existing  EU  harmonised  standards  for  other products helpful?  Existing  harmonised  standards  are  helpful  only  to  a limited extent because they are not specifically intended for this type of equipment.”

Well, the information technology (IT) EMC standard, EN55022, does cover PLT (as mentioned above), because PLT devices are simply another kind of IT device. But what the PLT industry lobby wants is a standard that says that simply because a product is PLT, it is permitted to emit 1,000 times more radio-frequency noise  into  the  mains  network  than  anything  else  is  legally allowed to emit.

If  such  a  standard  was  created,  you  can  be  sure  that  other powerful industry lobbies would very quickly insist on having their own EMC standards that allowed them to emit 30dB more noise into the mains distribution too.

After all, if PLT products can emit noise at this high level and yet enjoy a presumption of conformity to the EMC Directive, why not their products?  Then they could remove all their mains filters and save a very great deal of money.

“Ofcom believes the electromagnetic disturbance produced by this technology is an inevitable by-product of  its  operation and not  attributed to poor design or manufacturing.”

This is a perfectly correct statement!   Only not in the way that Ofcom wants it to appear to the reader. The Comtrend PLT design is not at all “poor” and neither is
their manufacturing. Both are perfectly competently done. It is just that the design of Comtrend’s PLT products is intended to put signals onto the mains distribution network at 1,000 times the maximum level required to protect the radio spectrum from interference. So of course “the electromagnetic disturbance produced by this technology is an inevitable by-product of its operation”!

Aren’t Ofcom’s spinmeisters clever? One has to be impressed!

But since Ofcom are employing such clever people, why doesn’t it employ them to do something a little more useful, perhaps something that contributes to Ofcom’s legal duty of protecting the radio spectrum?

For example, they might apply their huge and powerful brains to noticing that Comtrend’s EMC Declarations of Conformity are complete eyewash.

“Would the development of an EU standard for PLT help?  Yes. At  present,  testing  and  assessment  takes  place against a backdrop of wider technical uncertainty than is normally the case and there is an increase in the take-up of this apparatus across Europe. The  development  of  such  a  standard  would  be  an
important  step.  The  standard  could  be  used  by manufacturers  and  Notified  Bodies  to  assess performance against recognised benchmarked values. If the apparatus complied with the harmonised standard under  the  Regulations,  there  would  be  a  legal presumption  that  the  apparatus  met  the  essential requirements.”

There is work ongoing in CISPR/I to try to create a product specific  standard  for  PLT  devices,  but  it  suffers  from  huge difficulties because the opposing factions (PLT manufacturers versus almost everyone else) are each determined to get their own way, and there is no middle ground.

Either  PLT  emits  at  1000  times  the  emissions  limits,  or  it complies with those limits and doesn’t work. (At  least,  this  is  the  entrenched  position  taken  by  the  PLT industry, although recent work has shown they can emit at the limits given in EN 55022 (the “CISPR limits”) and still achieve data rates that would satisfy the vast majority of their market. But the PLT Industry appears to believe that because it spends so much on lobbying, it should be able to get just exactly what it  wants.  Unfortunately,  because  the  way  the  European Commission operates, this is quite a reasonable belief.)

Anyway, an “EU standard for PLT” is a complete non sequitur. There is no need for any product to declare compliance to any standard. A technical assessment for EMC compliance purposes can use Harmonised Standards, or not, as the manufacturer sees fit. So why all this fuss about standards?

Ofcom  states  that  it  believes  that  the  electromagnetic disturbance is an inevitable by-product of the operation of PLT devices – which is actually an admission of non-compliance! Since  they  don’t  appear  to  understand  this  basic  point,  we suggest  Ofcom  bothers  to  actually  read  the  Essential Requirements in the UK’s EMC Regulations – where they will see  that  apparatus  is  simply  not  permitted  to  be  designed/constructed in a way that interferes with other equipment, and especially not with radio reception.

The fact is – as many have said – broadband PLT (“Greedy PLT” as it is coming to be known) such the Comtrend products, uses an inappropriate technology. It deliberately produces a lot of  electromagnetic  energy,  then  tries  to  couple  it  into  an unknown impedance of unbalanced, unscreened cables (i.e. the mains distribution  network  in  a  house). Any  radio  engineer would call that a recipe for disaster. And it is.

This is why there is all this fuss about creating an “EU standard for  PLT”.  Such  a  standard  would  effectively  authorise  the Greedy PLT industry to claim presumption of conformity and legally affix the CE marking to their horribly noisy (by design) products, even though they could not possibly comply with the Essential Requirements.

A final piece of nonsense and [Ofcom] obfuscation:

“The  EU  Commission  is  aware  of  concerns  resulting from the proliferation of PLT in the EU and in response, issued a mandate (M/313) to the European Committee for  Electrotechnical  Standardisation  (CENELEC)  to produce a PLT harmonised standard”

M313 is totally irrelevant to the compliance of PLT devices. In fact, it specifically excludes them.  Instead, M313 concerns the compliance of complete data networks.

Spin,  once  again.  Or  is  it  obfuscation?  Whatever, it is intentionally misleading. It is also offensive and/or insulting, because it assumes that readers are so ignorant that they can’t tell the difference between a network and a device that connects to it.

M313 has been worked on for 10 years with no signs of success. There has been some further work on it recently, but agreement looks as far off as ever, and even  then  many  commentators suggest that it could never be applied to PLT networks, simply because – by their very nature – most mains networks pre-date the EMC Directive and were never installed for the purpose of carrying data in the first place.

Should we be surprised by all the spin, smokescreening, whitewash, eyewash, hogwash and (no doubt) many other kinds of wash, in Ofcom’s PLT statement of the 2 nd  September 2009?

Well,  probably  not,  because  Ofcom  is  manifestly  unfit  for purpose.  We  should  probably expect that  –  given  its contradictory  roles  –  something had  to  give,  and  the  PLT statement is just a result of that failure to reconcile opposites.

Ofcom was conceived and created to fill the role of a single regulator to oversee the apparently converging fields of broadcasting, telecomms and spectrum protection. As far as spectrum protection is concerned, Ofcom is required to be both poacher and gamekeeper. What has happened is that the needs of telecoms and broadband (the spectrum poaching role) have prevailed over  proper  management of  the spectrum  (the gamekeeper role).

Someone who has long worked in Government in the UK, and who  shall  remain  nameless  (for  obvious  reasons),  wrote  the following in a private email recently:

“Having worked in Ofcom I know how that works too. Created by the present Government, it is rather like an out-of-control  child  that  sometimes  attacks  its  own parents  and  ignores  anything  it  doesn’t  like.  It  is dominated by media luvvies and telecoms economists, with spectrum management coming a poor last (just one fact, out of many: they have reduced EMC enforcement / interference  staff  by  60%  since  taking  that  duty  over from the Radiocommunications Agency). And it has its  own  effective  spin  machine  that  –  like  the  whole organisation – is not accountable to anyone, which is not surprising when you realise that both of its Chief Executives have been No.10 spin-doctors themselves!”

The  only  real,  sustainable,  sensible  answer  is  to  remove  all EMC regulatory duties from Ofcom and give them to a separate, independent regulator, who is able to focus on managing the radio  spectrum  without  being  dominated  by  big  business interests.

The above is from The EMC Journal, issue 85, November 2009, ISSN 1748-9253
Log in to the EMC Information Centre to download the journals and full articles:

Detailed Technical Studies and Evidence from the ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY CENTRE

Read the article "Greedy PLT" here:

EMCIA Electromagnetic Compatibility Industry Association -

The above is an article from The EMC Journal. It must be said that the the field engineers and technical staff working for Ofcom no doubt do a very good job but who are, unfortunately, completely powerless in the face of the cynical misinformation from their cringeworthy Ofcom masters and the lying labour government spin merchants.

Ofcom is not fit for purpose
Part 2  - Why Ofcom should be abolished


The 'Independent' media regulator costs taxpayer millions and holds Middle England in contempt.

[ While the staff and engineers of Ofcom are, without any doubt, excellent people who are unquestionably helpful and professional. The problem with Ofcom is not their excellent staff, it's the structure and remit of the organization created by Government and its Chief Executive. Ofcom's primary function, it appears, is to maximise the amount of money made for the Exchequer, rather than to instill technical excellence. ]

Talk to anyone in the insular, self-regarding, oh-so-liberal London media world about Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards and they will say he’s brainy, self-assured and carries a vast amount of information around in his head. True, he is slick, articulate and plausible, dressed in dark, well-cut suits with fashionable narrow lapels. But more than anything, Ed Richards is a leading member of the New Labour political establishment, an interconnected, back-scratching mafia that, while bankrupting Britain, made its own members seriously rich.

For Richards has done extremely well for himself — the total amount of his salary and pension benefits since he took the helm of Ofcom in 2006 is heading towards the £2 million mark. When asked to justify his own captain-of-industry salary or his watchdog’s  £115 million budget, he does not talk of anything so vulgar as ‘value for taxpayers’ money’. Rather, he speaks of ‘delivering objectives for the least possible resource’.

And, in typical bureaucrat’s gobbledegook, he once told a committee of MPs that budget forward planning is a matter of setting ‘multi-year horizons’. As well as being a master of New Labour management lingo, Ed Richards has impeccable connections. Greg Dyke, the BBC director-general brought down after his run-in with the Blair government over Iraq weapons expert David Kelly, described Richards as ‘a jumped-up Millbank oik’.

But that is to grossly underestimate his smooth political skills. Perhaps his greatest political achievement has been to persuade David Cameron to break yet another of his pre-election pledges. As part of his promised ‘Bonfire of the Quangos’, Cameron vowed that under a Conservative government the vast, politically correct Ofcom empire would ‘cease to exist as we know it’.

Today, the truth is that this citadel of New Labour remains, under a Tory- dominated Government, utterly unreformed. If David Cameron thinks Ofcom is going to show respect for the family values he espouses or do something about properly policing the 9pm watershed, he is deluding himself. As one industry insider puts it: ‘Ed Richards cannot understand public anger about a row over decency because he views the world entirely through a Left-wing prism. He simply doesn’t get what all the fuss is about.’

Richards is protective about his personal privacy, and Ofcom declines to provide any details about his life or career beyond the barest details. Edward Charles Richards is 45, a graduate of the London School of Economics, and lives in South-West London. He seems to share Ed Miliband’s ambivalence towards marriage, for though he has two children with his long-standing partner Delyth Evans, he has not married her.

Evans, seven years older than Richards, is a well-connected member of the media-political establishment in her own right as a communications consultant. She was a speechwriter for Labour leader John Smith and a Labour member of the Welsh Assembly from 2000 to 2003.
Her business of consulting on media policy must be greatly assisted, one assumes, by sharing a roof with the most important media regulator in the land.

'Ed Richards is a jumped-up Millbank oik'  But how has a man who has never held an executive position in the real world risen so quickly to a job with a salary of £381,713 (though it was revealed recently that he had taken a 10 per cent cut)?

The answer, it turns out, is all down to football.

During the late Nineties, a group of young Labour activists and Labour-supporting media people had kickabouts on a pitch in a scrubby area of North London near King’s Cross railway station. They named their team Demon Eyes, an ironic homage to the Tories’ depiction of Tony Blair as satan in their 1997 general election posters.
It was through Demon Eyes that Richards got to know future Labour Cabinet ministers Andy Burnham, James Purnell, David Miliband and Ed Balls, the last-named an aggressive centre-forward who frequently shouted abuse at the referee as well as his team-mates.

So connections, rather than executive performance, explain Richards’s rise. Indeed, his curriculum vitae is strikingly thin. In the late Eighties, he worked briefly as a researcher for a TV company that made programmes for Channel 4, which may explain his apparent profound reluctance today to criticise any of the broadcaster’s output. For a brief time he was political  adviser to the then National Communications Union, before working for two years for Gordon Brown in the early Nineties.

Former Ofcom chief executive Stephen Carter left in 2005, allowing Ed Richards to get the top job

He later joined the BBC in the key corporate role of Controller of Corporate Strategy, before being chosen by Tony Blair in 1999 as senior adviser for media, telecoms, internet  and e-government. He worked on the 2001 Labour election manifesto and together with two key Blair loyalists (and Demon Eyes team-mates), Andy Burnham and James Purnell, Richards drafted the Communications Act that set up Ofcom. He proceeded to rise yearly up the ranks of the Guardian newspaper’s list of media movers and shakers, reaching number eight, and  was described by the paper as a ‘quintessential New Labour man’.

Richards moved from Downing Street to the number two role at Ofcom. When the watchdog’s chief executive Stephen Carter left in 2005, Richards got the top job.
The fact that few objected to the blatantly politically partisan Richards’s appointment to head what was meant to be a totally independent regulator speaks volumes for the moral ambiguity of the New Labour years.

Incidentally, to further demonstrate the incestuous relationship between No 10 and that same supposedly independent media regulator, Carter later went back to Downing Street in a doomed attempt to rejuvenate Gordon Brown’s media profile. Previously, Carter had been a senior executive at NTL, the cable TV company that went bankrupt with debts of £12 billion.

According to an allegation contained in court documents at the time, he told a fellow executive who feared he had misled shareholders: ‘What I tell them is nine-tenths bull**** and one-tenth selected facts.’ Soon after these alleged remarks, the firm collapsed in one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in U.S. history.

He defends the media industry, not the public. No one suggested he was responsible for the state of NTL’s finances, but U.S. court documents filed by aggrieved investors accused him and three other directors of ‘deceit’ and making ‘materially false and misleading statements’ to the media about the company’s true financial status. Carter — who denied the allegations — walked off with £1.7 million in compensation, including a £600,000 bonus. The other key figure at Ofcom is Colette Bowe. She became non-executive chairman in March 2009, replacing Lord Currie, who also happened to be a Labour donor and adviser and was ennobled by Labour as Baron Currie of Marylebone.

Bowe is a career economist, a former board member of the Left-leaning think-tank the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and a board member of the Camden People’s Theatre. She earns £180,000 a year — for working ‘up to three days a week’ for Ofcom. Her pay triggered criticism from MPs, who asked why a part-time employee should earn more than the prime minister. Bowe (whose appointment was championed by Labour’s Peter Mandelson) recently agreed to a 10 per cent pay cut, like Ed Richards.

She also holds several other lucrative posts, saying she’s ‘well able to give 60 per cent of my time to Ofcom’. She had previously been head of the investors’ watchdog, the Personal Investment Authority, where she was criticised in 1998 for slow progress in clearing up a £15 billion pension mis-selling scandal. She  left with a pay-and-compensation package of nearly £500,000.

As for the rest of Ofcom’s executive, the majority of members are on six-figure salaries. Latest figures show that Jill Ainscough, the chief operating officer, received an annual package worth £261,858, including pensions, benefits and £25,000 performance pay; and Stuart McIntosh, head of the Competition Policy Group,  took home £282,139 in pay, pensions and benefits. Polly Weitzman, head of Ofcom’s Legal Group, enjoyed a package worth £250,971; and Christopher Woolard, head of Content, International and Regulatory Development, got £214,125 in pay, pension and benefits.

Six individuals were listed as earning between £150,000 and £164,999, including the grandly titled Director of Spectrum Policy (Olympics), whose job it is to ensure there are adequate wireless communication channels for international broadcasters at the 2012 Games. The perks aren’t bad either. Over the past five years, individual expenses bills have included up to £5,278 for overseas accommodation and up to £13,766 a year on air fares.

One executive — former Left-wing newspaper editor Ian Hargreaves, who was Ofcom’s international director — claimed £22,726 for travel costs during the year 2007/8 while on a total pay package of £247,896. In 2008/09, seven members of the executive board put in expenses totalling £58,388. The previous year, they claimed £63,754. 
So incestuous is the world of think-tanks, government and media policy that Professor Philip Schlesinger of Glasgow University has written an academic paper on the subject, tracing how ‘a New Labour policy generation has emerged’. This was enshrined in the thinking that went into the legislation that set up Ofcom — through a government Bill drafted by Ed Richards.

Under Richards and New Labour, criticism of anyone working in their beloved ‘creative industries’ was tantamount to sabotaging the very branding and performance of UK plc. With this mindset, it would be unsurprising if Richards saw his role as defending the industry — rather than the viewer. For example, after 4,500 complaints about the lewd final of The X Factor last Christmas, when Rihanna and Christina Aguilera appeared in soft porn performances on prime-time Saturday evening TV, Ofcom cleared the programme of wrongdoing, saying merely that the scenes were ‘at the limit’ of acceptability for broadcast before 9pm for a family audience.

This didn’t stop the recent review on the sexualising of the young singling out the offending X Factor show for special criticism. One media executive explained: ‘It is not a question of Ed Richards being out of step with middle England values — he would see it as an insult if you suggested he was in step with them.’

So there was no surprise that when Ofcom censured Channel 4 — albeit in a rather mealy-mouthed way — after Glaswegian comedian Frankie Boyle made unrepeatable ‘jokes’ about Katie Price’s disabled son, it failed to fine the channel. Richards himself is, according to one media executive, a grey, technocratic figure, and Ofcom’s fashionably appointed £90 million HQ on the Thames is a dreary place in its boss’s own image.

Technically, Ofcom is a non- ministerial department, but is subject to parliamentary scrutiny, which means Richards must present himself before the Public Accounts Committee. Perhaps he got complacent during the loose-touch years of New Labour, but when he went before the committee last December he took quite a bashing.
According to someone who witnessed the encounter, it was ‘a train wreck’ as he stammered and obfuscated, unable to explain how his empire spent millions and millions of public money.

Steve Barclay, the Conservative MP for North East Cambridgeshire, a former soldier who worked in the private sector until winning his seat last year, was scathing about the state of Ofcom’s accounts.  In effect, it was accused of burying millions of pounds of unspent money in various ‘contingency funds’, while rewarding its own staff. In one year, £14 million (10 per cent of the total budget) was used to top up the staff pension fund. Until the wind changed with a new government and the need for austerity measures, with lavish public sector salaries coming under scrutiny, Richards even employed an assistant, grandly styled as Director of the Chief Executive’s Office, on a salary of £213,000.

‘Ofcom has spent £2.7 million on something called ‘‘thought leadership’’ and they employ 180 consulting providers,’ says Mr Barclay. ‘So you can imagine who’s scratching whose back. The accounts would certainly not pass muster in the private sector.’ Richards, one observer concedes, was quick to realise after such criticism that bodies such as Ofcom needed at least to make a gesture of tightening their belts. He froze executives’ vast salaries.

Though he is known to respond furiously to any criticism, he reluctantly bent to pressure to reduce the size of Ofcom, which had increased its staff numbers every year of his tenure. Whole aspects of the empire, notably its media literacy unit, which produced reports such as one that found children were often better on the internet than their parents, have been pruned, and the number of staff reduced by 153  in the past 12 months to the still bountiful level of 720.

But many Tory MPs remain frustrated at the way the media remains in the firm grip of Ofcom, which continues to function according to Blairite-Brownite nostrums, despite the fact Britain has a Conservative-dominated government. It’s rather like an incoming Labour government finding an important department being run by alumni of the Bullingdon dining club and opting to keep them all in position.Indeed, there are signs that Jeremy Hunt, the lambada-dancing Culture Secretary who is not entirely trusted by the Tory Right, is as comfortable with Richards as were his Labour predecessors.

Meanwhile, the lesson gleaned from Ed Richards’s survival from Labour to Coalition rule is that we shouldn’t expect any tougher control of the more distasteful programmes screened by our main TV broadcasters.

That, and the fact that once New Labour snouts are in the trough, it’s very difficult to get them out.

Read more:

PLT / BPL Interference Evaluation Tool

Broadband over Power Lines is technology for carriage of high speed data, principally for Internet Access, over the existing power line network.

Current BPL technology works by conduction of signals in the radio frequency spectrum up to about 100MHz.
Existing power lines networks are not ideal RF transmission networks, they will radiate radio frequency energy causing interference to radiocommunications services, and they will be susceptible to interference from nearby transmitters - radio or otherwise.

The European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation, CENELEC, are developing a standard for "Electromagnetic emissions from access powerline communications networks". Access powerline communications networks are commonly termed Broadband over Power Lines or BPL.

The proposed CENELEC standard does not automatically apply globally, though countries like Australia draw heavily on international standards, such as CENELEC's for their own jurisdiction.

This proposed standard would set limits for the conducted energy and radiated energy of BPL systems. The radiation limit is specified for example as a field strength in dBuA/m in a measurement bandwidth at a specified distance on particular frequency, and its impact will not be immediately apparent to most radio users.

Do you know what the impact of +4dBuA/m in 9KHz at 3m is on your receiver?

The BPL Interference Evaluation Tool allows evaluation of the impact of BPL interference under the proposed CENELEC standard given a set of location / application specific parameters.

Go to the BPL Interference Evaluation Tool at and enter the details for your site and discover the impact.

If you understand the potential impact, you will understand that BPL is the most serious risk that faces amateur radio today.

We, as a community seem absorbed with club level issues and small minded parochial thinking when a concerted national and international level approach is needed, and needed now.

Owen Duffy, VK1OD      [ ]

 Radio Reception Faces Being Wiped Out By Interference From
BT Vision HomePlug & Similar "PowerLine Adapters"
HomePlug / Broadband PowerLine Adapters', BPL and PLT Systems cause severe Radio Interference to Amateur Radio (Ham Radio), Shortwave Broadcast Reception and Citizens Band Radio (C.B.) and have the potential to disrupt other froms of radio communication.

PLT is not even legal...........but.....

Big Business is attempting to CRUSH traditional citizens' rights to communicate using high frequency radio:

Big Business - in the form of the HomePlug Alliance, together with co-conspiritors such as British Telecom, PC World, Belkin, ComTrend and others - are attempting to CRUSH traditional citizens' rights to communicate using high frequency radioDevices that use the mains to link computers or TV set-top boxes to the Internet can cause significant interference to radios in nearby houses.

This radio specturm ABUSE has to stop!

These units are used to establish a network within the home. TV and data signals are passed between the adaptors by means of radio frequency energy directly into the mains wiring of that home. The frequency used is 3-30 MHz. The resulting interference extends many 100's of feet from the household using them. This prevents users of the short wave radio spectrum from being able to use their radios.

World broadcast stations and many other services are blocked out by the interference. We feel this is an assault on our human rights and freedom, preventing us from hearing world band radio. It is also very dangerous as many safety, military, aviation and shipping services will also suffer!

Look on You Tube for powerline adaptors. Current EMC regulations say: the electromagnetic disturbance generated should not exceed a level above which radio and telecommunications equipment or other equipment cannot operate as intended.

Clearly these units do not comply and we want them banned and strong regulations put in place to prevent such technologies from being approved for use within the UK in the future.

E-Petition: Two E-Petitions were created on the UK government website calling for such devices to be banned.

The petition was at and called upon the Prime Minister to Immediately ban power line adaptors of the type currently supplied by BT etc.

HomePlug Interference - Yours Soon?

Severe interference from PLT / B.T. HomePlug (BPL) Adapters threaten to wipe out our hobby in the near future. The whole of the H.F. (shortwave) radio band could be potentially lost. That means Amateur Radio, citizens band (CB) radio and the ability to receive short wave broadcast stations.

This Broadband By PowerLine technology is also known as Power Line Telecom (PLT), Power Line Networking (PLN) and Power Line Communication (PLC). It is marketed as ‘Home Plug’ by branding and is supported by a 'bully-boy' pressure group of large self interested companies called The HomePlug Alliance.

Such Broadband by Power Line devices distribute broadband internet network connections via un-shielded mains wiring using a broad range of the radio spectrum between approximately 2 MHz to 30 MHz. This is the H.F. “short wave” band. The use of un-shielded household mains wiring to distribute these BPL signals effectively allows it to act as a large radio transmitting aerial. The signals from BPL devices can therefore be received for hundreds of metres around a property and will therefore cause severe interference to, or entirely obliterate the reception of radio services on the H.F. band to legitimate and licensed users.

Bottom Line

Don't Use PLT HomePlug Adapters: 
Use a passive network cable. A standard network cable is cheap and reliable, it is also FAR GREENER since it consumes no additional energy - unlike a  PLT adapter which will invariably be left powered up continually therefore wasting expensive electricity 24 hours a day, adding to the carbon footprint.

More QRM Problems

Switch Mode Power Supplies - Switch mode power supplies are typically found in computers (PC's and laptops), but are also supplied as an inexpensive power solution for many other mains powered electronic devices and gadgets. A switch mode power supply does not necessarily have to cause RF interference, but many switch mode PSU's are built down to the lowest possible price and to achieve a low production cost, many if not all the necessary filtering components such as capacitors and toroid inductors are omitted. These poorly designed and cheaply made switch mode PSU's are a potential source for seriously problematical amounts of RF pollution across long wave, medium wave, short wave and VHF bands.

I have found from experience that the switch mode power supplies that come with many of the cheaper PC cases and towers can create rather a lot of RF noise across all bands. I have used the 'Hiper' brand of ATX PSU's previously and found them to be fairly quiet as far as RF QRM is concerned. I therefore fitted a 'Hiper' brand HPU4S425 Silent 425 Watt PSU in a recently rebuilt PC help minimize RF noise from my PC's. Supplied by CCL Computers - my regular PC components supplier.


Plasma Screen Televisions - Many plasmas screens, the current fad in television viewing, cause enormous amounts of radio frequency interference across the LF, MF, HF bands and beyond. The RSGB EMC Committee is researching interference caused by plasma TV and would like to hear from those suffering interference from a plasma TV in the HF bands. Contact the Radio Society of Great Britain -

It is alleged that plasma televisions manufactured by Panasonic cause far worse radio interference (spectrum pollution) than other manufacturers such as Sony. I have no information to back this up, but if Panasonic plasma televisions are not EMC compliant then it would be worth investigating further should you be considering the purchase of such a television. 

Other links:


PLT / HomePlug / BPL Interference Page 2   Page 3   Page 4  Page 5

I want to know how this interference can be allowed

Who REALLY regulates PLT in Britain ??

HomePlug PLT &
                              PLA Interference


IMPORTANT  -  H.F. Radio Threatened with obliteration from HomePlug PLT Networking Adapters:

The precious radio spectrum from 2 MHz to 330 MHz is under threat from Power Line Network adapters - PLT / PLA - supplied by, among others, BT, BT Vision, Comtrend, and Belkin etc. These devices are not compliant with the Wireless Telegraphy Act - yet the UK's hapless radio spectrum 'regulator' fails to act. This willful neglect must be challenged. Please Donate to the Spectrum Defence Fund:   Donate here

Help Save the H.F. Short Wave Radio Band

: PowerLine Networking is a technology that can be used for computer networking. It is also proven by EMC experts to be extremely harmful to the radio spectrum by causing very severe radio interference. PowerLine Networking is being widely promoted by telecoms and computer companies - despite NOT complying with accepted technical standards known as Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC).

This technology is also known variously as PLT, PLA and HomePlug networking. HomePlug adapters, PLA's, are the electronic devices used to create a network. The most common and most disruptive adapters are the Comtrend type, supplied by British Telecom with their BT Vision service.

If you are thinking of buying Powerline Networking Devices then DON'T !

Similar PowerLine Networking adapters are also being pushed by computer suppliers such as PC World and Maplin etc under many brand names including Belkin, Netgear, Devolo, Linksys etc. PowerLine Network Adapters cause terrible radio interference and are also completely unnecessary and do not meet basic EMC legislation - although our incompetent government and Ofcom deny these facts:

A better and more reliable can easily be established at a fraction of the cost of PLT by using a very simple and very cheap and reliable network cable.

Using a passive network cable is also FAR GREENER since it consumes no additional energy - unlike a  PLT adapter which will invariably be left powered up continually therefore wasting expensive electricity 24 hours a day, adding to the carbon footprint.

HELP save world band radio from "PLT" -  If you are thinking of buying Powerline Ethernet Devices then DON'T - Please Reconsider. PLEASE.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948-1998
Article 19 says:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

In this respect the deliberate or otherwise jamming of world band radio (shortwave) and amateur transmissions is in direct conflict with this act!


Mike Smith - © 2003 - 2016

Subjects covered on this page:
Power Line Networking PLN - Power Line Telecoms PLT - Power Line Adapters PLA -  Broadband By Power Line BPL
British Teleccom - BT Vision - BT Home Plug - BT Home Hub - PC World - Maplin - Currys - Dixons - Linksys - Netgear - Belkin - Devolo - Ofcom - RSGB