European Proposal for Amateur Secondary MF Allocation Clears Important Hurdle
In preparation for the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12), the CEPT Project Team C approved a draft European Common Proposal (ECP) for an 8 kHz-wide band between 472 and 480 kHz at its September meeting. This draft ECP will now go to CEPT’s Conference Preparatory Group for formal ratification in November. This breakthrough -- at the 11th and final meeting of the project team -- occurred with the submission by the UK’s Ofcom of an RSGB-drafted compromise ECP proposal supported by France and Sweden.
Agenda Item 1.23 calls for WRC-12 delegations to consider an allocation of about 15 kHz in parts of the band 415-526.5 kHz to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis, taking into account the need to protect existing services. “While an 8 kHz allocation does not fully meet our objective of 15 kHz, having a European Common Proposal for an amateur allocation is a major step toward possibly achieving one at WRC-12,” said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. WRC-12 is scheduled for January 23-February 17, 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland.
According to Colin Thomas, G3PSM, the prospect of an agreed CEPT position is good progress, representing a 48 country block vote going into next year’s WRC-12. “It needs to be noted that the draft ECP comes with significant caveats to avoid interference to the primary user, as well as the existing secondary user services,” he explained. “These are the maritime and aeronautical radionavigation services, respectively. As secondary users, we would also not be afforded any protection. It should be acknowledged that we have had support from a number of Region 1 IARU Member-Societies in getting to this position.” Thomas is the CEPT Coordinator for this agenda item.