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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB045 (2003)

ARLB045 7 MHz realignment compromise makes radio history

ARRL Bulletin 45  ARLB045
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  July 11, 2003
To all radio amateurs

ARLB045 7 MHz realignment compromise makes radio history

In an 11th-hour compromise, delegates to World Radiocommunication
Conference 2003 (WRC-03) agreed to move broadcasters out of 7100 to
7200 kHz in Regions 1 and 3 to make room for the Amateur Service.
The expanded worldwide allocation at 40 meters goes into effect on
March 29, 2009. Amateurs in the US and the rest of Region 2 will
continue to enjoy the 7000 to 7300 kHz band they now have, but with
greatly reduced broadcasting interference.

The compromise marked the first time in the history of
internationally coordinated radio spectrum allocation that an HF
broadcasting band was shifted to accommodate the needs of another
service. The compromise cuts in half the incompatibility between
amateur and broadcasting use of the 7 MHz band and doubles the
40-meter spectrum available to amateurs in Regions 1 and 3.

While the result falls short of the IARU's goal of a 300-kHz
worldwide exclusive band for amateurs, the cooperation of
broadcasters, opposing delegates and many others was required to
make a positive step for ham radio. Spectrum between 4 and 10 MHz is
on the agenda for WRC-07, but further changes to 7000-7200 kHz will
not be considered.

The conference also dropped the international Morse code
requirement, leaving individual countries to decide if they want to
retain a code proficiency requirement, and adopted a number of
improvements to the other international regulations for the amateur
service. The delegates also agreed to allowed a secondary allocation
for satellite borne synthetic aperture radars at 70 cm and made
amateur call sign assignment more flexible.