No Reino Unido, a OFCOM publicou um relatório de pesquisa (Illegal Broadcasting) sobre as emissões ilegais de rádio, analisando especialmente a escuta de estações ilegais em Londres e arredores, e debruçando-se sobre a percepção dos ouvintes relativa à interferência destas estações ilegais nas emissões e na estabilidade dos operadores de rádio licenciados.
– Illegal broadcasters cause interference to safety-of-life radio systems, such as those used by air traffic control and the fire service. Because illegal broadcasters use unauthorised frequencies at transmitted powers which have not been cleared internationally, and because their transmitter equipment may not comply with the appropriate technical standards, their signals may interfere with services using adjacent frequencies or those frequencies which have a technical relationship to the ones being used by the illegal broadcaster. This will not necessarily be apparent to the illegal broadcaster, or to those listening to their service, but may completely wipe out coverage of legitimate radio services used by public authorities (P.1).
– Illegal broadcasters can interfere with legitimate, licensed broadcasts from commercial, community or BBC radio stations. In fact, illegal broadcasters with more powerful transmitters can sometimes entirely obscure signals from smaller (legal) radio stations with lower transmitter power. For commercial stations, this can result in a loss of measured audience which, in turn, can lead to falls in advertising revenue. Potentially, this can put the whole economic viability of the station – including the jobs of the staff it employs – into jeopardy (P.3).
– In recent years, illegal broadcasters have employed more elaborate methods of securing transmission apparatus, in an attempt to counter Ofcom enforcement action. Field officers face a number of dangerous obstacles (P.10).
– 16% of adults said they listen to illegal broadcasts – 6% referred specifically to a named illegal broadcaster;
– When prompted, six in 10 Londoners said they were concerned about interference to the emergency services caused by illegal broadcasters, with the significant remainder not expressing concern. Among those who listen to licensed broadcasters, the proportion who said they were concerned drops to less than half;
– Listeners to illegal broadcasters are made up of all age and social groups, with 15-24-year-olds and those in the C1/C2 socio-economic groups most likely to listen;
– Unique music content appears to be the main reason for listening to illegal broadcasters (P.12).