ARRL General Bulletin ARLB055 (2001)

ARLB055 ARRL Study Panel Recommends Eliminating Novice Bands (REVISED)

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ARRL Bulletin 55  ARLB055
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  December 21, 2001
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB055 ARRL Study Panel Recommends Eliminating Novice Bands (REVISED)

The ARRL Novice Spectrum Study Committee has recommended that the
ARRL petition the FCC to eliminate the Novice CW subbands and allow
Novice and Technician with Element 1 credit licensees to operate CW
on the General 80, 40, 15 and 10-meter CW allocations at up to 200 W
output. The panel suggested recognizing portions of those bands for
"slow CW operation" to aid new CW operators in enhancing their
skills. The committee recommended refarming the current Novice/Tech
Plus subbands, in part to allow expansion of the phone allocations
on 80, 40 and 15 meters.

The committee's complete report will be presented to the ARRL Board
of Directors for consideration during its annual meeting in January.
The committee's determinations were based on opinions expressed by
4744 respondents to an ARRL Novice Spectrum Study survey launched in
June. Those expressing their opinions included ARRL members and
nonmembers. Nearly 61% of those responding were Extra class

The committee, chaired by ARRL International Affairs Vice President
Rod Stafford, W6ROD, has been studying the status and usage of the
Novice/Technician Plus HF bands with an eye toward determining
appropriate changes in usage of that spectrum now that the FCC no
longer issues new Novice licenses. A guiding principle was that no
class of licensees would lose any privileges as a result of

The committee recommended expanding the phone bands in accordance
with the most popular of the survey choices offered--three for 80,
40 and 15 meters and two for 10 meters. Here's a summary:

* On 80 meters, nearly 40% of those responding opted for a
plan that would extend the US phone allocation to 3700 kHz, with
Extras permitted on the entire subband, and with Advanced and
General class subbands starting at 3725 and 3800 kHz respectively.

* On 40 meters, nearly half of the respondents picked the plan to
extend the primary US phone allocation to 7125 kHz, with Extra and
Advanced licensees allowed on the entire segment and Generals from
7175 kHz and up. (The committee's report suggested no changes to the
special allocations for amateurs on certain Pacific or Caribbean
islands and in Alaska.)

* On 15 meters, nearly half of those responding wanted the US phone
allocation extended to 21175 kHz, with Extras permitted on the
entire allocation, and Advanced and General subbands beginning at
21200 and 21250 kHz respectively.

* On 10 meters--where Novice and Tech Plus licensees already may
operate CW, RTTY and data from 28100 to 28300 kHz, nearly 55%
of the respondents favored a plan to retain the US phone allocation
from 28300 to 29700 kHz and to extend CW access to Novice/Tech Plus
operators to 28000 kHz--an additional 100 kHz. The current Tech Plus
28300 to 28500 kHz phone segment would be retained.