ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB028 (2001)

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ARLB028 ARRL Petitions for New 60-Meter Amateur Band

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ARRL Bulletin 28  ARLB028
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  July 26, 2001
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB028
ARLB028 ARRL Petitions for New 60-Meter Amateur Band

A petition filed this week by the ARRL could result in a new
high-frequency band for US amateurs. The ARRL has asked the FCC to
allocate 5.250 to 5.400 MHz to the Amateur Service on a domestic
(US-only), secondary basis.

The League told the FCC that the new band would aid emergency
communication activities by filling a ''propagation gap'' between 80
and 40 meters. ''There are times on certain paths when a frequency in
the 80-meter band is too low, and a frequency in the 40-meter band
is too high for reliable ionospheric propagation,'' the ARRL said in
its petition. The ARRL said the propagation gap can hamper
communication between the US and the Caribbean during a hurricane or
severe weather emergency.

The ARRL Board of Directors approved the proposal at its July 20-21
meeting. The FCC has not yet invited public comments on the
petition. Even if the petition finds favor with the FCC, it's likely
to be several years before the new band actually becomes available.

As proposed by the ARRL, amateurs General class and higher would be
permitted to operate phone, data, image and RTTY on the new band
running maximum authorized power. No mode-specific subbands were
proposed.

The ARRL said a new 150-kHz allocation at 5 MHz also could relieve
substantial overcrowding that periodically occurs on 80 and 40. If
the new band is approved, hams would have to avoid interfering
with--and accept interference from--current occupants of the
spectrum, as they already do on 30 meters. The band 5.250 to 5.450
MHz now is allocated to Fixed and Mobile services on a co-primary
basis in all three ITU regions.

The ARRL's petition cites the success of the League's WA2XSY
experimental operation in the 60-meter band, carried out since 1999,
which confirmed the communication reliability of 60 meters.

''An amateur allocation in this band would improve the Amateur
Service's already exemplary record of providing emergency
communications during natural disasters when even modern
communications systems typically fail,'' the ARRL concluded.

A copy of the ARRL petition is available on the ARRL Web site,
http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/5MHz
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