ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB037 (2003)

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ARLB037 FCC Proposes Additional 5-GHz Spectrum for Unlicensed Use

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ARRL Bulletin 37  ARLB037
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  May 22, 2003
To all radio amateurs

SB QST ARL ARLB037
ARLB037 FCC Proposes Additional 5-GHz Spectrum for Unlicensed Use

The FCC has proposed making another 255 MHz of 5-GHz spectrum
available for unlicensed use at 5.470 to 5.725 GHz. Amateur Radio
has a secondary allocation at 5.650 to 5.925 GHz, which it shares
mostly with government and nongovernment radars.

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in ET Docket 03-122,
approved May 15 but not yet released, the FCC suggested that the
additional spectrum be made available for use by unlicensed National
Information Infrastructure devices, including Radio Local Area
Networks, operating under Part 15 of the FCC's rules.

The FCC's action comes in response to a petition for rule making
from the Wi-Fi Alliance, formerly known as WECA. If implemented,
Amateur Radio will be left with a 25-MHz segment--5.825 to 5.850
GHz--that's not already earmarked for unlicensed services. The FCCÂ’s
proposal represents an 80% increase in the amount of 5-GHz spectrum
that would become available to unlicensed devices.

The ARRL has opposed past WECA efforts to expand the 5 GHz franchise
for unlicensed users. In comments to a 2002 petition, the League
said WECA failed to establish any current need for additional
spectrum and that the FCC may not be able to enforce rules against
harmful interference to licensed users. The ARRL plans to comment on
the latest NPRM once the full text has been released.
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