JRC Publications

This is a list of the latest JRC Public Documents.

JRC Response to Ofcom Call for inputs on 5G spectrum access at 26 GHz

As critical systems users, the Joint Radio Company (JRC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation on behalf of the electricity and gas utility operators.
JRC supports the actions of Ofcom in seeking to identify potential 5G scenarios and the need to understand any system sharing requirements before making long-term spectrum decisions specific to the 26GHz band.
Moreover, as it is unclear at this stage what form 5G services will take in the 26 GHz frequency range, we urge Ofcom to ensure on-going security of access to incumbent services on which the energy utility operators depend.
Potential 5G applications in the band may include backhaul and mobile services. In the case of backhaul this may be similar to existing fixed links services and may be readily accommodated alongside established fixed links within the band. The deployment of cellular type mobile communications within the band may be limited to localised base station to mobile devices in a ‘hot-spot’ type model and, as such, these systems are likely to be targeted to high footfall areas involving small cells embedded within the urban clutter. This may facilitate the opportunity for co-existence with incumbent uses such as fixed links.

Consultation on draft UK Regulations to implement the Radio Equipment Directive (RE-D) into UK law

Overall, JRC believes that this Directive will make a positive contribution to improving radio equipment standards with the long-term benefits of more efficient use of a scarce and valuable resource - the electromagnetic radio spectrum.
JRC also believes that the introduction of mandatory radio receiver performance standards offers the opportunity of reducing interference into radio equipment in the longer term.

Ofcom_Strategic_Review_of_UHF_Band_1_and_Band_2_410_to_470_MHz_(JRC_Response)

This consultation proposes to use the spectrum in the 410 to 450 MHz (UHF Band 1) and 450 to 470 MHz (UHF Band 2) bands more intensively and efficiently to best address the requirements of current and future users.
JRC indicates that the bandwidth requirements of its UHF systems will increase within the medium or long term future. Primarily, there is a requirement to increase its current data rates from 9.6 kbit/s in 12.5 kHz narrow band channels to 64 kbit/s in 25 kHz narrow band channels and ultimately to even wider bandwidth systems with Mbit/s capabilities.
In line with our European neighbours, it will be very helpful if Ofcom can make available sufficiently more spectrum for the resilient machine to machine (RM2M) systems used to control of the UK’s growing critical infrastructure utilities’ Smart Grid(s), e.g. 2 x 3 MHz within the 380 to 470 MHz Band.
Within some European countries, critical infrastructure utility operations already have access to sufficient 400 MHz Band spectrum (typically within 450 to 470 MHz) to operate their Smart Grid systems.

National Infrastructure Assessment Call For Evidence

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) launched a 15 week call for evidence to provide input into the development of its National Infrastructure Assessment, and encourages all interested parties to submit evidence, ideas and solutions.
The Commission will produce an NIA once in every Parliament, setting out the Commission’s assessment of long-term infrastructure needs on a 30-year time horizon with recommendations to the government. In completing the NIA, the Commission will build on the work of individual actors, including government departments, sub-national and regional bodies and regulators. The Commission will consider the demand and supply of infrastructure services, such as journeys or communication, as well as infrastructure assets, such as roads or fibre optic cables.
The Commission will cover economic infrastructure in the NIA but sectors will not be tackled independently from each other. The NIA will be developed by assessing the infrastructure system as a whole using a robust, common methodology to develop needs assessments that take account of strategic cross-sector considerations and resilience implications. In terms of the individual sectors, the Commission will cover: transport, digital communications, energy, water and wastewater (drainage and sewerage), flood risk management, and solid waste.
The JRC Response includes highlighting the importance of the continued stable supply of electricty and the future limited spectrum requirements needed to achieve this.

A Smart Flexible Energy System. A Call for Evidence. JRC Response.

The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), and the Office of Communications (Ofcom) have differing interpretations of policies and responsibilities with regards to businesses, citizens, and consumers. Under the Communications Act, Ofcom interprets the obligation to serve the interests of 'consumer / citizens' as according higher priority to direct consumer-facing services - mobile data and broadcasting - than communications directly related to delivering cost effective and reliable essential services for the consumer / citizen.

Ofcom Annual Plan 2016-17

Ofcom's main legal duties are to ensure that:
- the UK has a wide range of electronic communications services:
JRC highlights that the wide range of electronic communications services, indeed almost all products and services, that are offered to the UK’s citizens and consumers relies directly or indirectly on the stable provision of electricity and / or gas (gas is used to generate typically 50%[1] of the UK’s electricity) by the UK’s Critical Infrastructure Utility Operations.
The stable supply of electricity relies increasingly on the systems that control the electricity grid. This includes resilient private wireless systems such as the 9.6 kbit/s in 12.5 kHz true[2] narrow band channels used for the UK-wide supervision and data control systems (SCADA).

JRC Response to DCMS Review of Electronic Communications Regulatory Framework

JRC supports ‘deployment of communication networks that meet the needs of users over the next decade enabling competitiveness and economic growth and delivering social benefits. The effectiveness of networks needs to be judged by the quality of experience enjoyed, or suffered, by the user, be they an individual consumer or [a] business’.

JRC's response to Ofcom's Fixed Wireless Spectrum Strategy

Almost all products and services offered to citizens and consumers rely on the reliable supply of electricity and / or gas. In turn, these critical infrastructure utilities rely on the reliable supply of suitable 400 MHz, 1.4 GHz, and other fixed links spectrum to control their grid systems. The move to Smart Grids will require additional suitable spectrum access. In the UK, 12.5 / 25 kHz narrow band channels will continue to be required in the 400 MHz band. Higher data rate systems may require private broadband radio (PBR) channels, e.g. 1.25 MHz bandwidth. Higher frequency fixed wireless spectrum will continue to be required for backhaul links, etc. Critical infrastructure utilities prefer to avoid spectrum above 14 GHz because it is affected by rain, especially during storms when the electricity networks may be under extreme stress.

JRC response to Ofcom More Radio Spectrum for the Internet of Things

There appears to be demand for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications, especially in rural areas and hard to reach locations, that require connectivity over longer distances. This Ofcom document aims to encourage investment and innovation in the Internet of Things (IoT) using 10.1 MHz of spectrum within the 55-68 MHz, 70.5-71.5 MHz and 80.0-81.5 MHz bands by using our existing licence products. At the same time, Ofcom seeks views on whether any changes to its existing licence products are necessary to promote innovative uses in these bands, especially for serving rural and remote locations.
JRC highlights that the utilities have been operating Resilient Machine to Machine (RM2M) systems for over 50 years. JRC highlights that, whilst access to more spectrum in bands below 1GHz is needed by the power utilities if they are to fulfil their regulatory obligations to maintain secure and sustainable supplies of electricity and gas, and to restore supplies in a timely manner when those supplies are interrupted for any reason, the proposed Band I and VHF Low Band spectrum may not be suitable.

JRC response to Ofcom Strategic Review of Digital Communications. Discussion document

The aim of the review is to make sure digital communications markets continue to work for consumers, citizens and businesses. It considers future policy challenges across fixed, mobile and content sectors. This Ofcom document is consulting stakeholders to hear from everyone involved in digital communications services, including consumers, businesses, communications providers and public bodies, from across the UK’s nations and regions. We are also interested in the views of policy makers and legislators who set the statutory framework that we operate in.
JRC notes that Ofcom’s ‘key goal of our strategy is to make sure that the UK’s citizens and businesses are served by high-quality, widely available telecoms, both fixed and mobile. JRC highlights that the stable supply of electricity is an essential resource for the delivery of almost all goods and / or services to UK citizens and consumers, e.g. high-quality, widely available telecoms, both fixed and mobile.

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