ARRL Marks 27th Year of Hosting USTTI ARAC Course
Students from the Philippines, Ethiopia, Ghana, Brazil, and Nigeria attended the United States Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) Amateur Radio Administration Course (ARAC) at ARRL Headquarters September 27-October 1. ARRL Chief Technology Officer Brennan Price, N4QX, coordinated the session and led the course. ARRL Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer and Meeting Planner Lisa Kustosik, KA1UFZ, coordinated ARRL’s participation with USTTI.
According to Price, the students work in their respective government telecommunications offices dealing with telecommunications and Amateur Radio testing, licensing and monitoring. “Our six students -- Mary Coleen F. Cas (the Philippines), Chalew D. Anteneh (Ethiopia), Anthony Gakpey (Ghana), Edgard Pakes, PY2GOD (Brazil), Jonathan Aina (Nigeria) and Florence Adigun (Nigeria) -- made the trek to Newington,” said Price. For the second year in a row, some students elected to take examinations for United States Amateur licenses on the course’s final day. Anteneh and Cas passed these examinations, becoming KJ4YPQ and KJ4YPR, respectively. Last year, Yaw Kwarteng from Ghana took the Technician class license exam and passed. Kwarteng, who was not licensed in his home country, now holds American call sign KJ4PVL.
The ARAC curriculum covers a wide variety of Amateur Radio topics and concerns, including licensing, spectrum requirements, disaster communications and antenna requirements. The curriculum also covers the ITU and its regulations, as well as the process leading to the next World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12). “All six students took a keen interest in how the Amateur Radio Service has developed through its history and continues to develop today,” Price said. “There was a particular interest in licensing and human resource issues, and students were receptive to our ideas and suggestions concerning these issues.”
ARRL staff members served as faculty, teaching units within their areas of expertise. Emergency Preparedness and Response Manager Mike Corey, W5MPC, taught a unit on Amateur Radio’s emergency communications capabilities. Membership and Volunteer Programs Assistant Manager Norm Fusaro, W3IZ, explained how organizations of Amateur Radio operators could serve as a resource for regulators and the public. QST Editor Steve Ford, WB8IMY, taught units on digital communications and the fleet of Amateur Radio satellites. VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, and Assistant VEC Manager Perry Green, WY1O, discussed licensing and examination issues. Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, discussed electromagnetic compatibility and RFI issues, and Laboratory Engineer Bob Allison, WB1GCM, supervised each student’s successful assembly of a 40 meter receiver kit, that each student got to take home.
USTTI is a non-profit joint venture between leading US-based communications, IT corporations and leaders of the federal government who together provide tuition-free management, policy and technical training for talented professionals from the developing world. The ARRL hosts a course on Amateur Radio each year to introduce or further educate regulators and other spectrum users to its needs and unique issues; this is the ARRL’s 27th year to host the ARAC. The next ARAC course is slated for fall 2011.