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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB017 (2014)

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ARLB017 FCC Turns Down Petition to Create a 4 Meter Band in the US

ZCZC AG17
QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 17  ARLB017
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 19, 2014
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB017
ARLB017 FCC Turns Down Petition to Create a 4 Meter Band in the US

It does not appear that US radio amateurs will gain a new band at 70
MHz anytime soon. The FCC has denied a Petition for Rule Making
filed earlier this year by Glen E. Zook, K9STH, of Richardson,
Texas, seeking to add a 4 meter band to Amateur Radio's inventory of
VHF allocations. Zook had floated the proposal in 2010, and his
petition was dated January 27, 2010, but the FCC said it did not
receive it until last May. Zook asked the Commission to allocate
70.0 to 70.5 MHz to Amateur Radio because, Zook's Petition asserted,
"the recent migration of broadcast television stations to primarily
UHF frequencies basically eliminates any probable interference to
television channels 4 or 5." VHF TV channel 4 occupies 66 to 72 MHz.

"Because the Zook Petition is based on a faulty premise - that
broadcasting use within the 70.0-70.5 MHz band will diminish or
cease - its argument that amateur band users could operate without
causing harmful interference to any existing service lacks
sufficient support to warrant our further consideration, The FCC
said in a September 17 Order denying the Petition.

The Order may be found on the web in PDF format at,
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0917/DA-14-1347A1.pdf
.

The FCC pointed out that three full-power TV stations, 110 low-power
TV stations and translators, and six Class A TV station now occupy
channel 4 in the US. In addition, the Commission, through an
"ongoing incentive auction proceeding," is attempting to "repurpose"
a portion of television broadcast spectrum for broadband operations
and "repack the remaining TV stations into a smaller frequency
range." Under certain scenarios, the FCC said, channel 4 could
become even more heavily populated by broadcast users in the future.

"Given the complexity of the incentive auction proceeding, we also
conclude that it would not serve the public interest to further
complicate that unique undertaking by proposing to introduce a new
service into the broadcasting frequencies at this time," the FCC
said. The Order noted that fixed and mobile services will continue
to operate in the frequencies between channels 4 and 5 (76 to 82
MHz).

As Zook noted in his petition, a 4 meter band has been authorized
for Amateur Radio use in the UK and in a number of other European
and African countries. The FCC said that since it wasn't planning to
grant Zook's petition, it declined to evaluate his claims "regarding
the benefits that amateurs would derive from use of the band."
Zook's original proposal asked to have the FCC open up the
allocation to all classes of Amateur Radio licensees.

Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, operated an Experimental Service beacon
transmitter from Virginia on 70.005 MHz under the call sign WE9XFT.
At the time his Experimental license was granted in 2010, Justin
told the ARRL that he was not seeking to have the FCC create a 4
meter band. "This beacon is purely for radio science for use as an
E-skip detection device," he explained.
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