ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB003 (2001)

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ARLB003 FCC Begins WRC-2003 Preparations

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ARRL Bulletin 3  ARLB003
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 31, 2001
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB003
ARLB003 FCC Begins WRC-2003 Preparations

In preparation for the next World Radiocommunication Conference in
2003, the FCC's WRC-03 Advisory Committee met for the first time
January 30 at FCC Headquarters in Washington. The FCC International
Bureau's Planning and Negotiations Division has primary
responsibility for guiding the FCC's WRC-03 efforts.

A WRC-03 Web site has been set up at http://www.fcc.gov/wrc-03 along
with a mailbox for the committee, wrc03@fcc.gov.

The Advisory Committee provides an opportunity for interests outside
the federal government to develop and debate US draft proposals for
possible adoption by the FCC, the National Telecommunications and
Information administration and the US Department of State.

WRC-03 will deal with wide-ranging telecommunications issues,
including IMT-2000 or so-called ''third-generation'' or ''3G'' cellular
telephone devices, fixed services, mobile and fixed-satellite
issues, HF broadcasting, satellite broadcasting, and regulatory
matters.

Amateur Radio-related issues on the WRC-03 agenda include the
revision of Article S25 of the international Radio Regulations--the
basic rules for the Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services. This
includes the issue of whether to retain the treaty requirement to
demonstrate Morse code proficiency for access to amateur bands below
30 MHz.

WRC-03 also will review the terms and definitions of Article S1 to
the extent required as a consequence of any changes made in Article
S25. Among other things, Article S1 contains the definition of the
Amateur and Amateur-Satellite services. In addition, WRC-03
participants are expected to review the provisions of Article S19
concerning the formation of call signs in the amateur services, in
order to provide flexibility for administrations.

WRC-03 will consider realignment of amateur and broadcasting bands
around 7 MHz on a worldwide basis. The long-standing problem was
identified in a WARC-92 recommendation that called for realignment
at a future conference. The International Amateur Radio Union is
committed to supporting a ''harmonized'' worldwide 300-kHz allocation
in the vicinity of 7 MHz.

An examination of the adequacy of HF broadcasting allocations from
approximately 4 to 10 MHz also is on the agenda. Conference
participants also will consider abandoning an earlier commitment for
HF broadcasters to shift from double to single-sideband AM
modulation and move instead to digital modulation.

Among other issues that could affect Amateur Radio, WRC-03 will
consider allocations for non-geostationary, non-voice mobile
satellites (the so-called ''Little LEOS'') below 1 GHz, as well as
spectrum above 1 GHz for feeder links. In addition, the conference
will consider Earth Exploration-Satellite Service in the 420 to
470-MHz band.

ARRL Technical Relations Manager Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, says that most
of the issues of concern to amateurs have been assigned to the
WRC-03 Advisory Committee's Informal Working Group 6. ARRL Technical
Relations Specialist Walt Ireland, WB7CSL, has been appointed as
vice chairman of IWG-6. Rinaldo says Ireland's presence ''will be key
in seeing that amateur issues have fair treatment.'' He said
Ireland's experience with the Voice of America also will be helpful
in dealing with HF broadcasting issues being considered by the
panel.

WRC-03 is scheduled to begin June 9, 2003, and continue until July
4, 2003. A firm location has not yet been established, but the
conference is expected to take place in Venezuela.
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