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What is Interference?

Interference is caused by unwanted radio signals that degrade or interrupt radiocommunication and broadcasting services.

Interference may:

  • affect the quality of your reception or communication
  • cause only a temporary loss of signal, or
  • prevent reception.


What services can be affected by interference?

Interference to frequencies internationally allocated for safety communications.

Efficient and reliable communications systems are critical to safety services. Organisations that may be affected are the Rescue Co-ordination Centre, Maritime Operations Centre, Police, Ministry of Civil Defence, NZ Coastguard Federation.

Interference to commercial radio services

Interference to commercial radio services often involves economic impact on business with all parties seeking an early and cost effective solution. These often involve complex problems and should be referred to RSM after maintenance checks have been conducted to eliminate equipment faults.

Interference in your household - Radio and television interference

Interference problems at home usually affect radio or television reception. Note that disturbances to CD, DVD players and other audio equipment caused by nearby radio transmitters are not regarded as interference as they result from design or component problems in the audio equipment. Once identified as interference Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) will investigate domestic television and radio issues.


Steps that you can take to resolve your interference

You can:


How we can help?

RSM investigates interference to safety services, radiocommunications systems and broadcast services such as radio and television reception.

Protection is not given to weak or distant signals that have previously been receivable by good fortune, from changes that may occur in the radio environment.

TIP: It is important that all information is recorded and passed on to RSM in order to achieve an early resolution.

However, RSM does not investigate interference to:

  • general user licences (Radio or Spectrum).
  • private Management Rights i.e. bands of radio spectrum under a self-management agreement, but will assist on a case by case basis when safety to life or property is involved or there is a product compliance issue.

When an interference source is traced, the party responsible for the interference will be required to correct the matter. If the interference is determined as resulting from non-compliance with Electromagnetic Compliance (EMC) legislation or illegal transmission, RSM may issue infringement notices or take other legal action.

The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) does not accept liability under any circumstances for any loss or damage of any kind occasioned by the unavailability of frequencies or interference to reception.


Television interference

An outline of the causes of television reception problems, as well as potential interference solutions, and methods by which to avoid interference.

Read more about Television interference

Radio interference

Radio Interference provides a detailed description of what causes radio reception problems and how radio interference can be avoided.

Read more about Radio interference

Band Expanders

If you are using a band expander to enable your Japanese car radio to receive New Zealand FM broadcasts then you may be experiencing degraded reception and you may be causing interference you are unaware of.

Read more about Band Expanders

Commercial Services

Commercial Services looks at the impact interference can have on commercial services, and steps that can be taken to minimise interference.

Read more about Commercial Services

Last updated 14 January 2015