ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB003 (2014)

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ARLB003 FCC Opens Brief Window for Comments on WRC-2015 Draft
Recommendations

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ARRL Bulletin 3  ARLB003
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 30, 2014
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB003
ARLB003 FCC Opens Brief Window for Comments on WRC-2015 Draft
Recommendations

The FCC has invited comments by February 18 on the latest batch of
draft recommendations of its Advisory Committee for World
Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-2015). At its January 27
meeting, the Advisory Committee (WAC) approved draft recommendations
on a number of issues that will be considered by WRC-2015. Some
items, including one which could possibly lead to changes to 60
meters in the long term, could affect the Amateur and
Amateur-Satellite services. ARRL Chief Technology Officer Brennan
Price, N4QX, is a member of the WAC, which is chartered to allow
non-federal government entities to "provide to the [FCC] advice,
technical support, and recommended proposals for the 2015 World
Radiocommunication Conference."

"Based upon an initial review of the draft recommendations forwarded
to the Commission, the International Bureau, in coordination with
other Commission Bureaus and Offices, tentatively concludes that we
can generally support most of the attached WRC-15 Advisory Committee
draft recommendations," the Commission said in a January 28 Public
Notice.

The FCC also seeks comment on draft proposals from the National
Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) as well as on
the International Bureau's initial conclusions with regard to the
WRC-15 Advisory Committee draft recommendations.

WRC-2012 Resolution 649 invited WRC-2015, to consider allocating "an
appropriate amount of spectrum, not necessarily contiguous," to the
Amateur Service on a secondary basis within the band 5250 to 5450
kHz. "In order to maintain effective and reliable communications
capability throughout the sunspot cycle, allocations at regular
intervals are desirable, in order to permit operation as close to
the maximum usable frequency as possible," the WAC said in its draft
recommendations. Incumbent services in the 5250 to 5450 kHz range
include fixed, mobile, and radiolocation services.

"A secondary allocation from 5275 to 5450 kHz avoids the unsuitable
segment allocated to the Radiolocation Service, reduces the interval
between HF amateur allocations below 10 MHz to permit reliable
operation throughout the sunspot cycle, and maximizes the
flexibility of Amateur Service stations to effectively communicate
within the secondary allocation and fulfills their obligations to
avoid harmful interference to primary services," the WAC concluded.

WRC-2015 will also consider a number of issues that could impact
amateur allocations above 420 MHz, including a possible extension of
the current worldwide allocation to the Earth Exploration-Satellite
service in the band 9300 to 9900 MHz by up to 600 MHz "within the
frequency bands 8700 to 9300 MHz and/or 9900 to 10,500 MHz"
Incumbent services in the 9900 to 10,500 MHz range include the
Radiolocation, Fixed, Mobile, Amateur, and Amateur-Satellite
services.

The Amateur Service is secondary at 10,000 to 10,500 MHz worldwide,
and the Amateur-Satellite Service is secondary at 10,450 to 10,500
MHz worldwide.

The FCC said comments provided by interested parties will assist it
in its consultations with the US Department of State and NTIA in the
development of US positions for WRC-2015. "The recommendations...may
evolve in the course of interagency discussions as we approach
WRC-15 and, therefore, do not constitute a final US Government
position on any issue," the FCC Public Notice stressed.

Comments should reference IB Docket 04-286 and specific
recommendations by WAC document number. Interested parties may file
comments via the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/ . The ARRL plans to file comments in this
proceeding.
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