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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB003 (1996)

ARLB003 FCC proposes to suspend amateur use of 76-77 GHz

ARRL Bulletin 3  ARLB003
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  January 16, 1996
To all radio amateurs

ARLB003 FCC proposes to suspend amateur use of 76-77 GHz

In a Second Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in ET Docket 94-124, issued
just before the Federal shutdown in mid-December, the FCC has
proposed amending Part 97 of its rules to ''temporarily disallow
amateur use of the 76-77 GHz band,'' which the FCC hopes to open for
commercial development along with other ''millimeter wave'' frequency
bands above 40 GHz. The band in question is part of the 75.5 to 81
GHz allocation, which the amateur and amateur satellite services
share with other users on a primary basis from 75.5 to 76 GHz, and on
a secondary basis from 76 to 81 GHz. The primary allocation of 76-81
GHz is assigned to radiolocation, including radar.

The commission says the change will permit development of vehicle
radar systems in the 76-77 GHz band that could be used in conjunction
with Intelligent Transportation Systems. The FCC says restricting ham
use of 76-77 GHz will prevent potential interference to these
developing systems. At the same time, the FCC proposes to upgrade
amateur status in the 77.5-78 GHz band from secondary to co-primary
with government and nongovernment radiolocation services.

In earlier comments, the ARRL objected to limiting the 76-77 GHz band
to vehicle radar systems. The League said it wanted to maintain
existing ham allocations from 75.5 to 81 GHz to spur development of
short-range, high-speed data links. Because of the Federal government
shutdown, the deadline for comments on the FCC proposal has not been
set but will be 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.