About interference to IRRS-Shortwave from Merlin Communication International Ltd

About interference to IRRS-Shortwave from Merlin Communication International Ltd (UK) relaying Radio Korea International (KBS) on 3,980 kHz between 2030-2230 UTC Radio Korea International (KBS) on 3,980 kHz between 2030-2230 UTC

March 26, 2000 update: Merlin/Radio Korea left 3,980 kHz with the beginning of the Summer 2000 season (A00). We are again heard loud and clear all over Europe and the Northern Mediterranean. Check our frequency and program schedules for details.

Information updated on Dec. 1, 1999: Merlin and R. Korea just resumed their harmful interference on 3,980 kHz (DSB) from 2000-2330 CET (1900-2230 UTC), with a power of 250 kW from the UK . Again, this is showing no respect on both Merlin and R. Korea on the fact that we have established regular operations on 3,985 kHz for the last five years.  Merlin Communication is operating both on 3,985 and 3,955 kHz at the same time on the 75 m.b. The result is again extremely heavy interference on our broadcasts on 3985 kHz.

Milan, 31 January, 1999 — STOP PRESS: For immediate release.

NEXUS-IBA versus Merlin  Communication International Ltd: Modern-day David and Goliath : Interference to IRRS-Shortwave operations from R. Korea/Merlin Communications Int’l Ltd on 3,980 kHz.

For more than six years NEXUS International Broadcasting Association has occupied the 75 m.b. frequency of 3,985 kHz through its shortwave operation IRRS-Shortwave, long before most major broadcasters realized the importance of this band in serving Europe.

Suddenly and without prior warning, Merlin Communication International Ltd (UK) has begun relays of Radio Korea on the adjacent frequency of 3,980 kHz between 2030-2230 UTC. This is in clear violation of recommendations established by the High Frequency Co-ordination Committee (HFCC), of which both NEXUS-IBA and Merlin are members, as well as standard engineering practice prohibiting five kHz channel spacing for broadcasts to the same target zone. Due to the special AM-like characteristics of the 75 m.b. standard engineering practice suggest at least a 10 kHz channel spacing for transmissions regardless of the operating power of each transmitter. In addition Merlin has not duly registered either with the HFCC, nor with International Telecommunication Union the use of 3,980 kHz for the above times.

The result of this has been heavy interference to IRRS-Shortwave during the Merlin/Radio Korea transmission period between 2000 and 2230 UTC.

NEXUS-IBA has complained strongly to Merlin and Radio Korea, but to date we have received only a fax dated Jan. 25, 1999, in which Merlin’s Frequency Manager, Gary Stanley, writes “ … The replacement frequency I chose is not ideal but the situation is difficult because of the cluttered nature of the band at this time. 3980kHz seemed to be the best choice as it caused the least interference to other users in the band. I realize this does not help you in any way but I hope you can see I had no other choice.

Merlin’s behavior demonstrates its utter disregard for the rights of smaller broadcasters like NEXUS-IBA/IRRS, and a cynical adherence to the philosophy that kilowatts and revenue are more important than honoring the basic code of shortwave engineering conduct and International protocol.

The fact of the matter is that Merlin had no reserved resources in the 75 meter band, and therefore no legitimate right to offer Radio Korea a relay facility in that band. From experience, we also know that Merlin does not take NEXUS-IBA seriously because of its relatively low power, and has repeatedly refused to negotiate seriously with us at previous HFCC conferences, thus causing similar problems in the past.

This is a matter of survival for NEXUS-IBA/IRRS and the alternative shortwave programming it offers. We therefore appeal to the shortwave/SWL community to assist us by registering a protest with Merlin Communication International, and demanding that it cease its adjacent channel interference to us immediately.

Messages of complaint and protest should be addressed to:

Merlin Communications International Limited
20 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London WC2A 3ES
Fax: +44 171 396 6221
e-mail: marketing@merlincommunications.com

Korean Broadcasting System,
Technical Management Div., 18
Yoidudong, Young Dungpo-Gu,
SEOUL 150-790.
Fax: +822 7815199.
e-mail: rki@kbsnt.kbs.co.kr

Please copy us at NEXUS-IBA,
fax: +39-02-706 38151,
e-mail: info@nexus.org

This is not the first attack against NEXUS-IBA/IRRS-Shortwave in its more than eleven years of operation on shortwave. So far we have survived against all odds, but now we are faced with yet another “David and Goliath” challenge to our existence, and we appeal to you for help.

Please help us survive. Thank you.

With its seat in Milano, Italy, NEXUS-International Broadcasting Association is a strictly non-profit Association founded under Italian Law that operates IRRS-Shortwave to Europe. NEXUS-IBA, which is designated as an independent “Community Broadcaster”, according to the Italian Broadcasting Law of 1990, makes available broadcast time at cost to members of the Association, with no commercial advertising on the air and, currently, with no corporate underwriting. For a direct impression of the NEXUS-IBA / IRRS-Shortwave operation, you may tune in Europe to the Shortwave frequencies 7,120, and 3,985 (41 and 75 meter bands) daily with programming in various languages.

For more information please contact:
NEXUS-International Broadcasting Association
phone: +39-02-266-6971
email: info@nexus.org

NEXUS-IBA, the Home of International Broadcasting on AM and Shortwave