ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB023 (1996)

SB QST @ ARL $ARLB023
ARLB023 FCC denies petition

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QST de W1AW
ARRL Bulletin 23  ARLB023
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  April 29, 1996
To all radio amateurs

SB QST ARL ARLB023
ARLB023 FCC denies petition

Citing overwhelming opposition, the FCC has denied a Petition for
Rule Making, RM-8626, filed last year by Frederick O. Maia, W5YI,
that would have prohibited one-way transmissions of bulletins and
code practice--such as those aired by W1AW--on frequencies below 30
MHz.  Maia had argued that such transmissions were outmoded and that
some one-way, broadcast-type transmissions have interrupted two-way
communications already in progress.

Maia publishes the commercial newsletter the W5YI Report, manages
the W5YI-Volunteer Examiner Coordinator and publishes training
materials for amateurs.

When he filed his petition, Maia expressed concern over the level of
anger directed at certain one-way transmissions.  ''The
proliferation of these stations has caused chaos in the amateur
community that has now reached crisis proportions,'' he said.

The ARRL said that Maia's arguments were overstated and
inflammatory, and the League urged the FCC ''in the strongest
possible terms'' to deny or dismiss the petition without further
consideration.  The League cited W1AW's 65 years of free service to
amateurs; other countries whose amateur societies also conduct
informational bulletins on the air; the absence of any allegations
that W1AW creates any significant interference to ongoing amateur
communication; and the value of W1AW's bulletins in alerting
amateurs to emergency situations.

The League said that ''any on-air anger perceived by Maia'' ought to
be the subject of FCC enforcement action, not rules changes, saying
such situations were the direct result of the Commission ''allowing
abuses to continue for months and years'' rather than addressing
them in a timely manner in the context of the existing rules.

The ARRL also said that W1AW code practice as a free alternative to
Maia's retail sale of code practice products ''is sufficient
rebuttal to the allegation that the code practice has 'outlived its
usefulness'.''

During the comment period, the FCC said it received 371 comments
opposing Maia's request and 20 comments supporting it.  While
acknowledging some disagreement about the propriety of one-way
transmissions on HF bands, the Commission said the overwhelming
opposition to Maia's petition ''persuades us that the amateur
service community continues to view the one-way information
bulletins and the text for telegraphy practice to be of great value
to the service.''
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