FCC Turns Away Petition to Expand Technician 10 Meter Privileges
The FCC has dismissed a Petition for Rule Making that sought to expand Technician privileges in the 10 meter band. The Toledo Mobile Radio Association (TMRA) had asked the Commission last June to expand the spectrum available to Technician licensees on 10 meters to include operating privileges in the FM portion of the band, from 29.520 to 29.700 MHz. Novice and Technician licensees now may operate on 10 meters from 28.000 to 28.500 MHz.
“We conclude that TMRA has not presented grounds for the Commission to revisit the question of operating privileges for Technician class licensees,” the FCC said October 17 in denying the petition. The FCC said that Technicians may transmit through repeaters licensed to a General class or higher licensee that have an output channel in the 29.5 to 29.7 MHz segment, as long as the repeater has a 2 meter or 70 centimeter input.
Further, the FCC pointed out that the current licensing structure was developed “with the expressed desire of the amateur community to provide an incentive, ie, additional frequency privileges, to motivate Amateur Radio operators to advance their communication and technical skills.” The FCC noted that it increased Technician privileges in 2006 to include Novice and Technician Plus privileges. “A Technician class licensee can upgrade to a General class operator license and receive significantly more frequency privileges (including those at issue here) by answering correctly a minimum of twenty-six questions on a thirty-five question written examination,” the FCC said. TMRA, the Commission concluded, had submitted no evidence that the FCC should depart from its “long-standing policy of providing additional frequency privileges as an incentive” for license advancement.
TMRA had asserted that amending §97.301(e) of Part 97 would extend Technician voice privileges on 10 meters to “coincide with today’s technical advancement of the Amateur Radio Service.”