New Rules for 5 MHz (60 Meters) To Go Into Effect March 5
On November 18, the FCC released a Report and Order (R&O), defining new rules for the 60 meter (5 MHz) band. These rules are in response to a Petition for Rulemaking (PRM) filed by the ARRL more than five years ago and a June 2010 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). In the February 3 edition of the Federal Register, the FCC announced that these new rules will go into effect at 12:01 AM (EST) on March 5, 2012.
In summarizing the new rules, the FCC explained that the new rules amend the current rules to facilitate more efficient and effective use by the Amateur Radio Service of five channels in the 5330.5-5406.4 kHz band (the 60 meter band): “Specifically, and consistent with our proposals in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in this proceeding, the Commission replaces one of the channels with a less encumbered one, increases the maximum authorized power amateur stations may transmit in this band and authorizes amateur stations to transmit three additional emission designators. The Commission also adopts an additional operational rule that prohibits the use of automatically controlled digital stations and makes editorial revisions to the relevant portions of the Table of Frequency Allocations and our service rules.”
The Amateur Radio Service in the United States has a secondary allocation on 60 meters. Only those amateurs who hold General, Advanced or Amateur Extra class licenses may operate on this band. Amateur stations must not cause harmful interference to -- and must accept interference from -- stations authorized by any administration in the fixed service, as well as mobile (except aeronautical mobile) stations authorized by the administrations of other countries.