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ARRL Seeks Input for New IARU Region 2 Band Plan

03/04/2010

The International Amateur Radio Region 2 (IARU R2) conference -- held later this year in El Salvador -- brings together delegations from the national Amateur Radio Societies in the Western Hemisphere. One of the topics on the agenda will be the Region 2 HF band plan. This band plan is "harmonized with" -- spectrum management-speak for "very similar to" -- the IARU Region 1 and Region 3 band plans.

According to ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, many hams in the USA probably did not know there was such as thing as a Region 2 band plan until recently. Now, however, many more American hams have heard of it, but may not know how -- if at all -- this band plan affects them. Here are important facts for American hams to keep in mind:

  • IARU band plans are voluntary guidelines. They do not have the force of FCC regulations.
  • It would be inappropriate to incorporate Region 2 band plans into the FCC rules, and the ARRL has no plan to petition the FCC to do so.
  • Most other countries do not have the detailed sub-band regulations that are in Part 97 of the FCC Rules; for amateurs in those countries, IARU band plans offer the only guidance on frequency use.
  • The recognition of a calling frequency or band segment for a particular purpose or mode in the IARU band plan does not convey any special rights or exclusivity of use.

A new, more transparent procedure will be followed this year for considering possible changes to the Region 2 band plan. The ARRL is cooperating with this procedure by inviting input to be sent to the ARRL Board of Directors' Band Planning Committee. The committee will review the existing Region 2 band plan, consider input from the amateur community and make recommendations to the ARRL Board for submission to IARU Region 2.

The inadvertent omission of the AM center of activity frequency (calling frequency) -- 3.885 MHz on 80 meters -- has already been noted, and this will be one of the recommended revisions.

The deadline line set by Region 2 for gathering input and formulating recommendations is rather short. Amateurs who would like to submit input should take the following steps:

  • First, study the existing IARU Region 2 band plan posted on the Region 2 Web site. The Region 1 and Region 3 band plans are also posted there, so be sure you are looking at the band plan for Region 2.
  • Next, formulate a clear statement of any change you propose. Include a brief explanation of why you think the change would be beneficial. Please include your name and call sign in your input.
  • Finally, send your input via e-mail no later than April 5, 2010. Messages will be automatically acknowledged.

If you live in another country in Region 2, please contact your national Amateur Radio Society for information on how to submit input for the band plan process.



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