View Full Version : Interference from BT Powerline adaptors: Save shortwave petition

12-08-2008, 11:37
Powerline adaptors, being supplied to UK homes by BT, are causing widespread interference to reception on all shortwave bands.

A Yahoo group, UKQRM, has been formed, to take action against this
interference, the group now has a webpage including a link to a
YouTube video showing its effect.

Several complaints have been made to Ofcom which have been logged as
spectrum abuse and investigated. BT Vision is well aware of the
problem and there is a thread on their support forum.

The group webpage is:

If you are in the UK or able to vote in UK political matters please
note that a petition to 10 Downing Street has now been approved.

Provided the petition gets 200 votes or more it will receive a
considered reply from government.

The petition says:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Immediately ban
power line adaptors of the type currently supplied by BT.

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.

Link to the petition:

If further pressure on Ofcom, or other relevant authorities, could be brought by anyone actively involved in the DRM consortium, or in promotion of the technology, this would be most helpful.

12-08-2008, 22:52

A very useful post as it confirms the problem I have. The sound of the qrm is exactly the same. I suspect my next door neighbour. But before approaching him I emailed BT and got this reply:

Thank you for your e-mail dated 02/07/08

I understand from your e-mail that you have some enquires with regards to BT vision. All I can really advise is to check with your neighbour that it is BT vision he is using with the power line adaptors. Then if he is and it is the adaptors that are causing the interference then we can take things from there to resolve this issue


BT Vision Support Team

Unfortunately they are on holiday at the present so I have not been able to approach next door, and in some respects I'm a bit hesitant as I don't want to cause any bad feeling. Also looking at your range test it could be one of many neighbours, good grief what if they all get BT Vision?

Why can't BT just replace all the offending equipment or is there no alternative?

If this interference was in the TV bands it would be stopped forthwith.

Will be signing the petition.

Keep up he good work.

Paul T

14-08-2008, 09:02
Isn't it illegal to use and sell such devices which cause interference?

19-08-2008, 17:31

The devices are CE certified and thus at the moment cannot be stopped from coming into the country. However Ofcom have logged each complaint as spectrum abuse, investigated and in three cases the UK QRM group knows about the adaptors have been removed by BT and a wired or wireless system put in instead. Several other cases are in the system so both BT Vision and Ofcom are aware that there is a genuine problem.

There's discussion in the UKQRM group now about the legal position and the resources allocated to enforcement, it's a complicated issue. The RSGB have also recently met Ofcom about their statutory duty to enforce EMC regulations in respect of this technology and other sources of interference.

Here are some WAV files recorded two weeks ago by Alan Roe in Teddington whose neighbours have these devices, Alan is a long time shortwave broadcast band listener and editor for the World DX Club.

For each file, you'll hear Alan stepping through the range in 5 khz steps:

4700-4800khz: http://www.randa.plus.com/4700-4800.WAV
5900-6000kHz: http://www.randa.plus.com/5900-6000.WAV
9400-9500kHz: http://www.randa.plus.com/9400-9500.WAV
11500-11600kHz: http://www.randa.plus.com/11500-11600.WAV
13500-13600kHz: http://www.randa.plus.com/13500-13600.WAV
15000-15100kHz: http://www.randa.plus.com/15000-15100.WAV
17450-17550kHz: http://www.randa.plus.com/17450-17550.WAV
25600-25700kHz: http://www.randa.plus.com/25600-25700.WAV

As you can tell analogue and DRM reception on HF is made impossible by these devices.

BT Vision is installed in 282,000 UK homes, the adaptors are supplied as standard and the install guide says customers should use them.

A complaints based system does not solve the problem, BT Vision has been targeted so far at current BT Broadband users, they are shortly to be advertising the system nationally.

20-08-2008, 19:07
Hi Mike,

Thank you for the post.

The interference certainly sounds very broadband. I am just amazed that a company, especially BT, should have designed and is allowed to install such products! The hypocrisy is just breathtaking. How would they like it if their spectrum was interfered with? I really think you could get quite a lot of publicity to put pressure on them, though. Articles in the press like "BT to kill 100 years of amature radio" spring to mind. I will definitely add my name to the petition.

Best wishes,


15-01-2009, 13:46
Good article on recent developments in The Register:

'Interfering' BT Vision attracts campaigner glares

Ham radio enthusiasts call up trading standards

By Bill Ray

15th January 2009 11:33 GMT

Campaigners complaining about interference generated by BT's Vision
product have financed independent tests to show that the kit BT is
pushing fails to conform to the appropriate EU standards, prompting a
complaint to trading standards officers.

Full article including embedded YouTube video:

30-01-2009, 21:58
Ofcom invited UKQRM to its London office to have a meeting about PLT interference. The meeting took place on Tuesday and a full report has now been posted at:

Note that Ofcom is concerned about it's impact on DRM and is seeking to carry out further research on this matter.

A pdf version of the report is also available, as well as much other information, linked to from their homepage.


30-01-2009, 22:34
Dear friends
For me, DRM in my house..any more... only with a top signal. I have all SW band, with a strong PLC noise, (that is about 100m away from me) from 6MHz and up to 40MHz. I was make acomplaint to ANACOM. At the moment I`m waiting.

73 from CT4RK

JC Aragon
01-02-2009, 08:49
I thought my Morphy Richards DRM radio was broken and could not receive DRM transmissions anymore.

And apparently I was wrong. Its sure DRM transmissions dont increase, but PLC devices do. People around me have more of them and that is possible the reason DRM transmissions have gone.

What a future we are going to have with DRM, those few and rare DRM receivers and those each time fewer DRM transmissions.:(

25-02-2009, 12:12
Hi all!
For now, a little beat of DRM again!:D ...Just leave a lot of days runing QSOs on HF, with my YAESU FT1000 driving a Kw amplifier, with the audio processor on, and now I have only S3 (with 20 dBs preamplifier on) of PLC QRM :D ....The DRM come back. The "near field" PLC that was make to me strong QRM is now in QRT!!!!... Some noise from far away PLC only...:D :D :D :cool: