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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB021 (2015)

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ARLB021 FCC Speedily Dismisses Petitions to Alter Amateur Service
Rules

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ARRL Bulletin 21  ARLB021
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  July 2, 2015
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB021
ARLB021 FCC Speedily Dismisses Petitions to Alter Amateur Service
Rules

Acting with near lightning speed, the FCC has dismissed two
petitions for rule making calling for separate amendments to the
Part 97 Amateur Service rules. Willison H. Gormly, WD0BCS, of Des
Moines, New Mexico, filed both petitions on June 16, and the FCC
turned them away on July 1. Gormly had requested that the FCC amend
Part 97.301(e) of the rules by dividing it into separate
sub-paragraphs for technician and Novice class privileges. He had
also asked the FCC to amend Part 97.305(c) to authorize spread
spectrum emissions in the 2 meter band.

"The rule changes you propose were previously rejected by the
Commission," Scot Stone, deputy chief of the Mobility Division in
the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, told Gormly in the FCC's
dismissal letter. "Your petitions do not demonstrate or even suggest
that any relevant circumstances have changed such as to merit
reconsideration of these decisions."

The FCC noted that while Part 97.301(e) had been divided into two
paragraphs in the past, these were consolidated when the Commission
streamlined the rules in 1999. Gormly argued that the present
configuration was confusing, but the FCC pointed out that Part
97.301 "has been in this arrangement for a number of years without
any reported difficulty."

Regarding Gormly's second petition, the Commission noted that it had
sought comment in 2004 as to whether it should expand the bands
authorized for spread spectrum to permit such emissions on the 50
MHz, 144 MHz, and 222 MHz bands. Agreeing with the majority of
comments, the FCC subsequently determined that authorizing spread
spectrum was not warranted on 6 meters and 2 meters, "because of
concerns over the compatibility of spread spectrum emission types
and other Amateur radio operations in those bands," the FCC
explained in its denial letter.

The FCC had said it was concerned about raising the noise floor on
the band, with potential adverse effects on so-called "weak signal"
communications or "otherwise affecting experimentation." The
Commission also had noted that both bands are heavily used for other
types of communication.
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