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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB026 (2015)

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ARLB026 Outcome for 5 MHz at WRC-15 Remains in Limbo

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ARRL Bulletin 26  ARLB026
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  August 26, 2015
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB026
ARLB026 Outcome for 5 MHz at WRC-15 Remains in Limbo

With the deadline to submit proposals to World Radiocommunication
Conference 2015
(http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/conferences/wrc/2015/Pages/default.aspx)
now less than 2 months away, it's still unclear how at least one
agenda item of importance to the Amateur Radio community will fare.
That is agenda item 1.4, which calls on the delegates to consider a
secondary Amateur Radio allocation at 5 MHz (60 meters). In the US
and in most other countries that have privileges there, ham radio
has a set of fixed channels at 5 MHz - not necessarily the same from
one country to the next, although most are common.

As ARRL Chief Technology Officer Brennan Price, N4QX, explained last
spring following the second Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM),
the agenda item 1.4 proposals at the CPM were "all over the map -
ranging from no change to an expansive allocation of 5275-5450 kHz,
with explicit suggestions of 15 kHz and 100 kHz in between, and a
few methods with details to be filled in later." As Price summarized
at the time, "[T]here is a wide divergence of opinion, and no
certainty as to the outcome."

In his July 2015 report to International Amateur Radio Union Region
3 Conference to be held this October in Indonesia, ARRL CEO David
Sumner, K1ZZ, said that while the US is "generally supportive" of
the Amateur Radio and Amateur-Satellite services at WRCs and in
other International Telecommunication Union (ITU) venues, "it has
been difficult to gain support from the federal government side for
agenda item 1.4." The ARRL is a member of IARU Region 3 to represent
the interests of FCC-licensed radio amateurs residing in Guam; the
Northern Marianas; American Samoa; Baker, Howland, Jarvis, and Wake
islands; Palmyra Atoll, and Kingman Reef.

When he submitted the report to IARU R3 in July, Sumner had said
that the best ARRL could hope for in the US position was a 25 kHz
secondary allocation at 5 MHz, "and only then if this becomes the
CITEL Inter-American Proposal (IAP)," he explained. CITEL completed
its work earlier this month and will put forward an IAP for a 175
kHz secondary allocation at 5275-5450 kHz, with support by up to a
dozen countries. That's not a proposal the US or Canada could
support, however. Sumner noted that as of now, only one formal
proposal for agenda item 1.4 has been submitted, and it calls for no
change at 5250-5450 kHz. It came from the Regional Commonwealth in
the Field of Communications (RCC), the regional telecommunications
organization made up primarily of the former Commonwealth of
Independent States countries of which Russia is the largest.

Other regional telecommunication organizations still have not
submitted formal proposals. Sumner said this week that it's not
possible to predict what might happen at the European Conference of
Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) meeting in a
few weeks. CEPT is the umbrella organization for 48 European
nations.

"We appreciate the strong support from so many Latin American and
Caribbean administrations and remain hopeful that a favorable
consensus can be reached in Geneva in November," Sumner said.

In Europe, Hungary's telecommunications regulator NMHH has begun
issuing temporary permits to radio amateurs there to operate in the
band 5350-5450 MHz on a secondary basis for research. The permits
are valid for 3 months, and holders may reapply after that.
According to the Dutch Amateur Radio Association (VERON),
telecommunication regulator Agentschap Telecom is expected in
September to release 5350-5450 kHz to radio amateurs on a secondary
basis for all operating modes. The primary users of the band, which
include the Netherlands military, already have agreed to the
allocation. Several other European countries already have 60 meter
allocations.

WRC-15 will take place November 2-27 in Geneva.
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