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Amateur radio operator charged

Media Release, 25 May 2010
Ministry of Economic Development, Radio Spectrum Management

Amateur radio operator charged

Radio Spectrum Management recently prosecuted Amateur Radio Operator Alan Potter for transmitting outside the terms and conditions of the General User Radio Licence for Amateur Radio Operators.

The radio spectrum is an important resource for New Zealand and a key part of Radio Spectrum Management’s work is to ensure responsible use of the radio spectrum in a way that doesn’t cause interference to other users.

All amateur radio operators are required to gain a qualification that covers the risks and harmful effects of interference from their transmitting equipment. This includes the risks associated with transmitting at high power levels.

“As a qualified amateur operator, Mr Potter is well aware of the risks but has chosen to ignore them”, says Chris Brennan, Compliance Manager for Radio Spectrum Management.

“This behaviour is unacceptable. Radio Spectrum Management are serious about protecting the radio spectrum for all users; we are continually monitoring and enforcing radio spectrum compliance, which includes prosecution when necessary”.

Radio Spectrum Management was alerted to a video Mr Potter posted on ‘You Tube’, a well known online video sharing site, which showed his transmitter operating at 3100 Watts. Operating at such high transmitting power is likely to cause interference to, and disruption of, a range of other licensed radio services in the local area.

Radio Spectrum Management’s role is to protect the public good by ensuring equipment capable of transmitting radio waves complies with the terms, conditions and restrictions of radio licences and International standards applicable in New Zealand.

Conviction and charge

Mr Potter was charged in the Christchurch District Court on 14 April. He was found guilty of breaching section 113 of the Radiocommunications Act 1989. He was fined $1,750 and $130 for costs, plus he has been required to forfeit his radio equipment.

For the purposes of section 113, any person who erects, constructs, establishes, maintains, or is in possession of any radio transmitter is presumed to have used the radio transmitter. In this case, Mr Potter was found in possession of radio transmitting equipment that was capable of operating at a significantly higher power than the Amateur Radio Operators General Licence allows.


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