Comment Deadline Set in WRC-07 Implementation Proceeding
As previously reported, the FCC has proposed to amend its rules to implement the allocation decisions of the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07) and to make certain other changes. Notice appeared in the December 27, 2012 issue of the Federal Register, which started the clock on a 60-day window for the submission of comments. Thus, comments are due no later than February 25, 2013, with reply comments due no later than March 27, 2013.
While most of the 130-page Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order does not directly affect the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite Services, two sections of the document are of particular interest to amateurs.
Specifically, the FCC proposes to upgrade the Amateur Service allocation in the upper half of the 160 meter band (1900-2000 kHz) from secondary to primary, while deleting the existing allocation to the Radiolocation Service. This is possible, because the reaccommodation of radiolocation stations displaced by the expansion of the AM broadcasting band to 1705 kHz has been completed and there are no non-federal radiolocation stations licensed to operate in the 1900-2000 kHz band.
The FCC also seeks comments on whether, and how, an amateur low frequency (LF) allocation might be able to co-exist with Power Line Carrier (PLC) systems that are used by electric utilities to monitor and control the power grid. The Commission notes that while PLC systems do not have the status of an allocation, they carry “communications important to the reliability and security of electric service to the public.” WRC-07 created a new secondary allocation to the amateur service at 135.7-137.8 kHz that already has been implemented in a number of other countries.
The ARRL will be preparing comments supporting both of these allocations. Individuals wishing to comment directly to the FCC should carefully read paragraphs 13-24 of the NPRM and follow the instructions contained in paragraph 175.