Andrew Castle is Leading Britain's Conversation.
Pirate radio is a serious problem in London. These stations interfere with licensed broadcasters and make listening to LBC in some areas almost intolerable. The law offers harsh sanctions for those convicted of illegal broadcasting.
Taking action against the perpetrators is a job for OFCOM. If you experience pirate interference, get in touch.
Call the Ofcom contact number on: 0300 123 3333
You can make a difference:
In 2005 Ofcom seized the transmitter of a West London illegal station as it was causing interference to LBC 97.3FM. The station manager was later convicted at Acton Magistrates Court of theft of a transmitter, and of rendering a service to an illegal station. He was fined £250 on each count.
There are other possible causes of interference. A relationship exists between the frequency used by Heathrow Air Traffic Control tower and 97.3 FM. Most radios are capable of rejecting this interference but some models are susceptible, particularly if you opted for a cheaper one. The solution is to try a different radio and possibly a better aerial. Some listeners receive interference from taxi or minicab radios. No taxi companies are licensed to use frequencies that should interfere with LBC so OFCOM should be notified.
LBC is broadcast on 97.3 FM for the London area only. As a guide, the target transmission area is contained within the M25 although in some cases reception is possible further away. If you listen outside this area, then good reception cannot be expected.
If you suffer from interference, do report it. You may find that fiddling with your aerial may help, or indeed knocking LBC slightly off frequency. Strange, but true. Reception on Digital may also be worth trying. For more information on Digital Radio, go to http://www.getdigitalradio.com.