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FCC, Regulatory Issues Dominate ARRL Executive Committee Meeting Agenda

03/19/2015

When the ARRL Executive Committee (EC) meets on March 21 in Dulles, Virginia — in the shadow of the nation’s capital — it will confront a raft of FCC-related and regulatory issues. The continued evaluation of strategies to improve the FCC Amateur Radio enforcement program heads the list. The ARRL learned recently that the FCC Enforcement Bureau will recommend to the full Commission significant cutbacks in Field Office sites and personnel, due to budgetary concerns.

 

Other topics include a February FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Reconsideration Order (NPRM&RO) in ET Docket 15-26 that could lead to expanded spectrum for various radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band, which Amateur Radio shares with other services. The ARRL plans to file comments in the proceeding. Other matters include a Part 5 Experimental license issued to a Massachusetts company, MITRE Corporation, which plans to conduct experimental transmissions over wide portions of the HF spectrum. The ARRL asked the company in February either to avoid Amateur Radio allocations or to announce the times and frequencies of their transmissions in advance. So far, MITRE has not responded. Among other matters, the EC will discuss strategies to address HF Experimental licenses and Special Temporary Authority (STAs) going forward.

The EC will hear an updated status report on FCC planned adjudication of the 2013 ARRL Petition for Rule Making (RM-11708), asking the FCC to delete the symbol rate limit in §97.307(f) of its Amateur Service rules and to replace it with a maximum data emission occupied bandwidth of 2.8 kHz on frequencies below 29.7 MHz.

The committee also will be briefed on the progress of the ARRL’s Petition for Rule Making to create a new Amateur Service Allocation at 472-479 KHz, as well as other allocation issues, including a possible 135.7-137.8 kHz allocation and upgrading 1900-2000 kHz to primary.

Topping the list of legislative matters is the status of congressional advocacy on behalf of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 (H.R. 1301) and efforts to obtain a companion bill in the US Senate. The EC will also consider strategies to raise lawmakers’ awareness of Amateur Radio during the 114th Congress.

 



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