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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB012 (2019)

ARLB012 FCC Adopts New Rules for Spectrum above 95 GHz in Branded
"Spectrum Horizons" Initiative

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 12  ARLB012
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  March 21, 2019
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB012 FCC Adopts New Rules for Spectrum above 95 GHz in Branded
"Spectrum Horizons" Initiative

The FCC has adopted new rules to encourage development of new
communication technologies and expedite the deployment of new
services above 95 GHz. The action was the latest move in the
Commission's "Spectrum Horizons" branded initiative.

The rules can be found online in PDF format at, .

"This spectrum has long been considered the outermost horizon of the
usable spectrum range, but rapid advancements in radio technology
have made these bands especially ripe for new development," the FCC
said in announcing the March 15 move.

Prior to its "historic" decision last week, the FCC had no rules for
authorizing communication above 95 GHz other than by radio amateurs
or through experimental operations. Under current rules, specific
Amateur Radio allocations exist at 122.25 - 123.00 GHz; 134 - 141
GHz; 241 - 250 GHz, and at frequencies above 300 GHz, and limited
experimentation has taken place in this region of the radio

Among radio amateurs active in that region of the spectrum is Brian
Justin, WA1ZMS, in Virginia - who has made at least one contact on
every available Amateur Radio band. He earned the first-ever ARRL
VUCC awards for 122 GHz, 134 GHz, and 241 GHz, and even went so far
as to make the first contact on a less-than-1-millimeter band, 322
GHz. "Many world DX records were made as well along the way," he
said last spring. "The most rewarding one for me was 114 kilometers
[about 71 miles] on 241 GHz."

In announcing adoption of the new rules for spectrum above 95 GHz,
the FCC cited "substantial opportunities for innovation on these
frequencies, especially for data-intensive high-bandwidth
applications as well as imaging and sensing operations."

The new rules create a new category of experimental licenses for
using frequencies between 95 GHz and 3 THz. "These licenses will
give innovators the flexibility to conduct experiments lasting up to
10 years, and to more easily market equipment during the
experimental period," the FCC said. The FCC action also makes a
total of 21.2 gigahertz of spectrum available for use by unlicensed
devices. The Commission says it selected "bands with propagation
characteristics that will permit large numbers of unlicensed devices
to use the spectrum, while limiting the potential for interference
to existing governmental and scientific operations in the above-95
GHz bands, such as space research and atmospheric sensing."

The FCC said study of these uses could ultimately lead to further
rulemaking actions and additional licensing opportunities within the
Spectrum Horizons bands.

At the invitation of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, well-known academic
researcher, entrepreneur, contester, and DXer Theodore "Ted"
Rappaport, N9NB, delivered remarks prior to the Spectrum Horizons

The docket for the proceeding, ET Docket No. 18-21, incorporates the
terminated 2013 Petition for Rule Making RM-11795, submitted by
James Whedbee, N0ECN, of Missouri. Whedbee has asked the Commission
to create rules for the operation of intentional radiators in the
band 95 - 1,000 GHz under Part 15.


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