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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB006 (2023)

ARLB006 ARRL Advocates for Radio Amateurs as FCC Proposes Changes to
60-Meter Band

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 6  ARLB006
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  April 28, 2023
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB006 ARRL Advocates for Radio Amateurs as FCC Proposes Changes to
60-Meter Band

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comments
about changing the secondary allocation available to radio amateurs
on 60 meters. The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
on April 21, 2023, that deals with the band. In a prior petition,
ARRL, The National Association for Amateur Radio, urged protecting
the existing use of the band by amateurs when adding a new
allocation adopted internationally.

Currently, radio amateurs in the US have access to five discrete
channels on a secondary basis: 5332 kHz, 5348 kHz, 5358.5 kHz, 5373
kHz, and 5405 kHz. Users of these channels are limited to an
effective radiated power (ERP) of 100 W PEP.

The FCC proposes to allocate 15 kHz of contiguous bandwidth between
5351.5 - 5366.5 kHz on a secondary basis with a maximum power of 15
W EIRP (equivalent to 9.15 W ERP). This allocation was adopted at
the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15).

The federal government is the primary user of the 5 MHz spectrum.
The government's manager of spectrum use, the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), has
expressed support for implementing the allocation as adopted at
WRC-15. Doing so would result in amateurs losing access to four of
the five discrete channels, and power limits would be reduced from
100 W ERP to 9.15 W ERP. However, it would provide access to a new
contiguous 15 kHz band that includes one of the current five

In 2017, ARRL petitioned the FCC to keep the four 60-meter channels
that fall outside the new band, as well as the current operating
rules, including the 100 W PEP ERP limit.

The ARRL petition stated, "Such implementation will allow radio
amateurs engaged in emergency and disaster relief communications,
and especially those between the United States and the Caribbean
basin, to more reliably, more flexibly, and more capably conduct
those communications."

ARRL said that years of amateur radio experience using the five
discrete channels have shown that amateurs can coexist with primary
users at 5 MHz while complying with the regulations established for
their use. The petition also stated, "Neither ARRL, nor, apparently,
NTIA, is aware of a single reported instance of interference to a
federal user by a radio amateur operating at 5 MHz to date."

In the NPRM, the FCC recognizes that Canada has already adopted
60-meter allocations and related rules that align with those
proposed by ARRL. The Commission wrote, "Finally, we note that
Canada has essentially implemented the same rules as ARRL has
requested."  The NPRM can be found online at, .

The FCC proposed to allocate the 15 kHz bandwidth but stopped short
of making a proposal on whether the existing channels should remain
allocated to amateur radio and what the power limitations should be.
They requested comments on their proposal and the related channel
and power issues.

Comments will be due 60 days after the NPRM is published in the
Federal Register, which is expected within the next two weeks.


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