ARRL General Bulletin ARLB037 (1996)

ARLB037 2m/70cm/WRC update

ARRL Bulletin 37  ARLB037
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  June 6, 1996
To all radio amateurs

ARLB037 2m/70cm/WRC update

Hams respond to band threat with flood of comments, FCC sets up
central comment address

Hams have responded in force to defend the 2-meter and 70-cm bands
against a threat from the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS). Over the
past week, hams have directed more than 1000 comments by letter,
e-mail, telephone and fax to representatives on Informal Working
Group 2A (IWG-2A), which is preparing draft US proposals for the
1997 World Radiocommunication Conference. The IWG-2A's list of
''candidate bands'' for low-earth orbit mobile satellites (''little
LEOs'') includes the 144 and 420 MHz bands, among others suggested
for consideration. Little LEOs are intended mainly to offer
commercial paging and other low-data-rate messaging services.

The list of candidate bands was submitted by little LEO industry
representatives at a May 7 IWG-2A meeting. ARRL Technical Relations
Manager Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, was present and objected strongly to the
inclusion of these two bands. He was told that objections should be
submitted in written comments, and the ARRL did so on May 15.
Despite the objections, the two ham bands remained on the table,
prompting ARRL Executive Vice President David Sumner, K1ZZ, to issue
a call to action in his July 1996 QST editorial. The
editorial--circulated far and wide by e-mail and packet
radio--generated so many responses that the FCC has had to modify
its procedures to cope with the deluge.

Instead of directing comments to the list of individuals distributed
in an earlier bulletin and included in the pre-press version of
K1ZZ's editorial, send comments by e-mail to Send
written comments--an original plus one copy--to Office of the
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC 20554.
Each comment should include at the top, ''Reference No. ISP-96-005''
and ''Advisory Committee Informal Working Group 2A.'' The FCC staff
says comments will be given prompt consideration. All written and
electronic comments from Amateur Radio operators received at the
Commission have been included as part of the public record on

Again, for the most expeditious and efficient consideration of your
comments, the FCC asks amateurs to not send comments directly to the
chair of the WRC-97 Advisory Committee, to the chairs and
vice-chairs of the Informal Working Groups, to individual FCC staff
members or to private-sector participants in the Advisory Committee
process. Spread the word about this new commenting procedure.

The ARRL Web Site has complete information on the band threat
situation at and will update the information to
reflect further developments.