On St. Valentine’s Day 1922, the world’s first, regular entertainment radio station took to the air live from the British town of Writtle. The Two Emma Tock station only had 200 watts and transmitted only on Tuesday evenings for 30 minutes, on 700m (428 kHz).
Radio depends entirely on electricity as a source of power for transmission and reception, and on electrical and electronic components for its broadcasting and receiving equipment. Hence, four years later, in 1926, the IEC created TC 12: Radiocommunications, the first of a number of IEC Technical Committees (TCs) and Subcommittees (SCs) that develop International Standards for the components and systems that make radio.
Nowadays, IEC standardization work for radio broadcasting and receiving equipment is carried out by TC 100: Audio, video and multimedia systems and equipment; TC 103: Transmitting equipment for radiocommunication; and TC 108: Safety of electronic equipment within the field of audio/video, information technology and communication technology.
Radio reception can be subject to interference from a variety of sources, which include electrical equipment. IEC has been involved in reducing that interference to radio (and later TV) broadcasts, initially in the 150 kHz to 30 MHz frequency range – which includes long-, medium- and short-waves.
It does that through its International Special Committee on Radio Interference (CISPR), which was created and first met in 1934.
The IEC has been supporting the development of radio receiving and transmitting equipment through its International Standards for more than 90 years, thus playing a major role in the development of a technology that continues to inform and entertain the public.