ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB055 (2002)

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ARLB055 ARRL officials upbeat about reaching 5-MHz compromise 

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ARRL Bulletin 55  ARLB055
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 20, 2002
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB055
ARLB055 ARRL officials upbeat about reaching 5-MHz compromise

ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, and General Counsel Chris Imlay,
W3KD, say they're optimistic about reaching a resolution to issues
that could otherwise block plans for a new 5 MHz band. Until
surprise opposition surfaced from the National Telecommunications
and Information Administration (NTIA), the FCC appeared to have put
ARRL's request for a new, domestic-only, secondary amateur
allocation at 60 meters on the fast track.

In an eleventh-hour move a month ago, the NTIA recommended in a
letter to the FCC--sent after the comment deadline--that the
Commission not go forward with a proposal for an Amateur Radio
allocation at 5250 to 5400 kHz. The NTIA regulates radio spectrum
allocated to the federal government.

''We are working together with the Federal agencies involved toward a
solution of the impasse raised by the NTIA letter,'' Imlay said after
he and Haynie attended a series of meetings September 19 in
Washington, DC.

In an August 21 letter, acting NTIA Associate Administrator for
Spectrum Management Fredrick R. Wentland worried that the 5 MHz
proposal the FCC put forth last May at the ARRL's request ''does not
adequately provide for protection from harmful interference to these
critical government operations'' in the band.

After initially huddling this week with NTIA and FCC officials and
staff members, Haynie and Imlay met face-to-face with
representatives of the agencies involved to share mutual concerns.

''They are willing to work with us,'' Haynie said. ''I don't think
we'll get everything we want, but it's certainly a start.'' One
difficulty in the negotiations is that some of the information on
the government's use of the 5-MHz frequencies involved is
classified.

Imlay said the discussions tended to center on power restrictions
and frequencies but emphasized that no decisions were reached. The
ARRL proposal called for a 150-kHz wide band and the full legal
power limit. Imlay hinted, however, that perhaps a smaller band than
the one requested coupled with some power output limitations, was a
real possibility.

The ARRL has called the 5 MHz allocation ''an urgent priority of the
Amateur Service.'' Until the latest snafu, the FCC had been expected
by early next year to issue a Report and Order on proposals for the
5-MHz band, a new low-frequency allocation in the vicinity of 136
kHz and primary Amateur and Amateur-Satellite status at 2400 to 2402
MHz.
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