1 Apr 2017

472 and 137kHz allocations in the USA nearer

The latest news from the FCC suggests the USA is nearer allocating the LF and MF bands to amateurs at last.

I used to think OFCOM was bad, but the FCC seems even worse. It is years since most countries had access to these bands. If the FCC was concerned about other users they could have set very low ERP levels and allowed amateur operation on a strictly "non-interference" basis.  Instead they waited and waited. They are still waiting!

The FCC seems, at least to me, to be a bunch of pen pushing idiots who know little about radio. Perhaps I am being unfair? In many ways I think of the USA as having fairly liberal policies on the use of the spectrum, but the FCC seems to do themselves no good at all over these bands.

See http://www.arrl.org/news/new-bands-fcc-issues-amateur-radio-service-rules-for-630-meters-and-2-200-meters

See also http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0329/FCC-17-33A1.pdf

1 comment:

Todd Dugdale said...

"Perhaps I am being unfair?"

Maybe. The simple truth is that the FCC really doesn't care about amateur radio. It would gladly hand over the entire thing to a third party, if that were legally possible. So we get a policy of "benevolent neglect", which works in the hobby's favour.

The FCC has extremely broad responsibilities: wireless phone, broadcast TV and radio, cable, marine, public service...even down to certifying consumer electronics. Amateur radio is a tiny speck in that whole universe. In the Big Picture, I would rather that they devote their very limited staff to the issues that impact the most people -- i.e. non-amateur issues. And I am not excited about having people who are most comfortable with regulating giant telecoms poking their noses into amateur radio allocations.

These new allocations will mean very little for very few. I'd be greatly surprised if more than five or six hundred (out of 750k licensed amateurs here) make any use of these new bands. It's hardly something that will save the hobby from oblivion or irrelevance. Chasing beacons and running 1.5kW CW stations (with incredibly inefficient antennae) is not some new technological frontier. A relative few will explore it, and I hope that they find satisfaction. But the FCC has not opened up some game-changing facet that will revolutionise amateur radio -- nor are they likely to in the future.