The ACMA has recently taken compliance action against a number of people found with non-standard radio transceivers in South Australia.
During the operation, which focused on the Adelaide and Yorke Peninsula regions, 17 non-standard radios were seized. Primarily originating from China and bought via the internet, the radios do not comply with Australian standards. This means that they cannot be authorised by a land mobile licence-required to be able to operate the radio legally.
At the ACMA, we're particularly concerned about the number of emergency service volunteers found with these radios. As they are programmed to transmit on a variety of frequencies, they could cause harmful interference to the communications systems of vital emergency services. Not only could this undo the good work of the volunteers, harmful interference to these types of services can lead to prosecution.
We also found that even though a number of volunteers had radios that complied, they did not have permission from the licensee to program the frequencies. This is required of all users of radiocommunications equipment under the Radiocommunications Act 1992.
Unlawful possession or unlicensed operation of radiocommunications equipment can attract substantial penalties, including a fine of up to $270,000 or up to two years imprisonment. Investigations are continuing into other offences involving radiocommunications equipment following the Adelaide operation.