ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB008 (2001)

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ARLB008 ARRL Seeks to Expand Amateur Access to 216-220 MHz

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ARRL Bulletin 8  ARLB008
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  March 13, 2001
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB008
ARLB008 ARRL Seeks to Expand Amateur Access to 216-220 MHz

The ARRL has suggested that the FCC expand the secondary amateur
allocation at 219-220 MHz to provide access to the entire 216-220
MHz band. The League commented this month in response to a Notice of
Proposed Rule Making, ET Docket 00-221, that proposes to reallocate
27 MHz of spectrum in various bands, including 216-220 MHz, from
government to non-government use.

In general, the FCC seeks to allocate the entire 216-220 MHz band to
the Fixed and Mobile services on a primary basis. At 219-220 MHz,
Amateur Radio now is secondary to the Automated Maritime
Telecommunications System (AMTS). Within the 1-MHz of spectrum,
Amateurs may install and operate point-to-point digital message
forwarding systems, including intercity packet backbones, but only
under strict limitations.

While the FCC has promised to protect AMTS and other operations from
new interference, it extended no such assurances to amateur
operations at 219-220 MHz. In its comments, the ARRL expressed fears
that additional co-primary users ''will essentially foreclose what
limited opportunities there are now for amateurs to make use of the
219-220 MHz segment.''

The League suggested that permitting amateur access to the entire
216-220 MHz band on a non-interference basis would be one means to
accommodate Amateur Radio operations in that portion of the
spectrum. Such a move would, the ARRL said, ''provide at least some
opportunity for amateurs to engineer fixed links into the band,
which would not be possible in the 219-220 MHz segment alone.''

''The Amateur Service is well-known for being able to make use of
bands used by other services, which increases the efficiency of
spectrum use,'' the League said. The allocation could be made
''without any adverse impact on AMTS operations, television broadcast
reception, or other, new co-primary operations in the 216-220 MHz
band, Fixed or Mobile,'' the ARRL concluded.
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