The RSGB’s EMC Committee has for three years been investigating the problems of interference (RFI) from VDSL broadband on the HF amateur bands and lobbying for action to reduce the problem. We have a lot of historic data, but both Ofcom and Openreach contend that 150 reports from 50,000 amateurs is not indicative of a major problem when there are 9.5 million VDSL installations deployed. The RSGB EMCC has set up a survey to collect current signal levels at the frequencies of VDSL band transitions (these indicate the presence and strength of interference). It is very simple to do you just tune your receiver (set to AM or SSB 3kHz bandwidth) to each frequency requested note the S meter reading on the survey form. Full instructions are included in the survey.
Please fill in this survey with your current readings even if you have reported them before. As more and more people subscribe to VDSL so the level of interference continues to increase and we need the current picture.
The RSGB has been lobbying Openreach and Ofcom to act to reduce the RFI from overhead lines carrying these broadband signals. We have set up a mechanism with Openreach to investigate lines near amateurs, once we have confirmed problems with VDSL RFI. If a poor line balance is found then Openreach will improve the problem line (normally the neighbour’s line). This has reduced the problems in some cases but many amateurs still suffer from unacceptable levels of RFI from the overhead telephone wires.
A comprehensive report with recommendations for further action has been submitted. However, we need more evidence to get this problem taken seriously. Now is your chance to help by completing the VDSL Survey during September. We plan to present its findings at the RSGB Convention in October and then use them to persuade Openreach to take further action.
Please complete the survey and encourage your friends to do so. This is the last chance we have to prove how many people are affected by this RFI. If we cannot provide results from a sufficient number of responses then there is nothing further we can do on your behalf. You could make the difference.
The survey will be available for completion until 30 September 2017.
John Rogers, M0JAV
Chairman RSGB EMC Committee