JRC Publications

This is a list of the latest JRC Public Documents.

Ofcom Consultation: Proposed Guidance on protecting access to emergency organisations when there is a power cut

The four principles proposed in the consultation appear wise and well founded. However, there appear to be a number of significant assumptions in the consultation without the evidential basis to support the position being adopted. These include:
• The assumption that mobile phone networks will provide service during power cuts.
• The one hour minimum power backup duration seems sensible given the Ofgem data that 67% of power outages are restored within 1 hour.
• The assertion that most calls to the emergency services would occur shortly after the initial power outages has no evidential basis.
• Paragraph 3.10 describes a situation where some 'households have a history of long-duration power outages'. It is incumbent on the electricity network provider to remedy known situations.
• The increasing use of fempto cells to provide domestic mobile coverage, back-hauled on broadband, will not work if a power cut is not addressed.

JRC Response to Ofcom Draft Ofcom Annual Plan 2018/19

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 highlights that communication networks are dependent on access to resilient and robust electricity supplies. Also, with the evolving Smart Grid, that the existing intelligent electricity monitoring and control systems are being expanded to the extremes of the electricity network. This expansion in the operational communications needs of the energy utilities will require access to additional spectrum. This developing need is not recognised within the Ofcom Annual Plan 2018/19 and as such we encourage Ofcom to establish a specific work item to address this need.
JRC appreciates the essential work of the Ofcom Field Teams and Spectrum Licensing Teams to support the day-to-day operational telecoms needs of the energy networks.

JRC response to the DCMS Call for Views: 5G Trials and Testbeds Programme

The Joint Radio Company (JRC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to this call for views and in particular we support the approach from Government to provide funding support to 5G developments to enable future UK competitiveness.
In terms of the three use cases to be explored we endorse the observation that Massive Machine-Type Communications will be directly relevant to the ‘Energy’ sector in the future and see merit in linking this initiative to the Energy Network’s Association Open Networks Project which is seeking to establish sophisticated approaches to electricity Demand Management. In addition, when considering Ultra-Reliable, Low Latency Communications URLLC this also has a direct relevance to the Energy Supply Sector. The energy supply sector currently utilises this capability on a limited scale to control power supplies but in future there will be enhanced need for this capability at all levels of the energy network and as such the amount of active network components needing this type of critical communications capability will likely increase by two orders of magnitude. Furthermore, a key component of enabling URLLC type systems is access to resilient and robust energy supplies and / or having back-up energy present locally. Hence there is a direct relationship between the energy supply industry and future URLLC type solutions from both the Demand and Supply perspectives and we are keen to work with DCMS to establish this aspect as part of future initiatives.
Finally, it is worth noting the emphasis placed by Government on Mobile when describing the 5G initiative and we encourage Government not to overlook the potential for the 5G technology to be deployed in a Fixed Wireless Access context and that this approach should also be considered within the 5G Pilots.

JRC Response to DCMS Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review: Call for Evidence

The Joint Radio Company (JRC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to this call for views and in particular we support the approach from Government to consider alternative market frameworks when seeking to establish the market for ‘future new digital infrastructure.’ Moreover, future Industrial Developments will be predicated on the establishment of next generation digital communications infrastructure that will enable initiatives such as ‘Smart Grid.’ Noting that ‘Smart Grid’ is central to establishing the UK’s ‘Low Carbon Economy’ then we encourage DCMS to ensure alignment between the Policy framework designed to facilitate the new digital communications infrastructure and broader Policy interventions across Government.
In addition, we see merit in considering the role that Industry Verticals, e.g. Energy, Automotive, Health and Care might have when establishing the market framework for ‘new digital infrastructure.’ Moreover, Industry Verticals may facilitate reach and capacity on a truly national basis that has to date not been economically rationale for existing licensed operators.
Finally, we encourage DCMS and Government more broadly to note that the availability of UK Communication Networks is dependent on access to resilient and robust electricity supplies which are subsequently predicated on secure access to interference free wireless-based control systems. To this end, where spectrum access is a key component of enabling Critical Infrastructure such as Energy Networks then this aspect should be captured in DCMS’s ongoing oversight of Critical Communications Infrastructure.

Response to the Ofcom Fixed Wireless Spectrum Strategy

JRC welcomes Ofcom’s understanding that ‘Energy distribution along with all the necessary communications and network management, monitoring and control functions all require high reliability communications infrastructures. A change to a more distributed model could result in additional requirements for fixed wireless links, which we [Ofcom] will monitor’.
JRC also welcomes Ofcom’s recognition that access to suitable spectrum enables ‘the safe and secure supply of water, electricity and gas in the UK’.
JRC highlights that a wide range of channel widths and data rates will continue to be required when the existing electricity grid monitoring and control systems, with their range of technologies, are expanded to the edges of the electricity Smart Grid network, e.g. with 100 times more locations being monitored.

Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review: Call for Evidence

The Joint Radio Company (JRC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to this call for views and in particular we support the approach from Government to consider alternative market frameworks when seeking to establish the market for ‘future new digital infrastructure.’ Moreover, future Industrial Developments will be predicated on the establishment of next generation digital communications infrastructure that will enable initiatives such as ‘Smart Grid.’ Noting that ‘Smart Grid’ is central to establishing the UK’s ‘Low Carbon Economy’ then we encourage DCMS to ensure alignment between the Policy framework designed to facilitate the new digital communications infrastructure and broader Policy interventions across Government.

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.

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