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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB023 (2013)

ARLB023 ARRL Executive Committee to Consider Numerous Regulatory

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 23  ARLB023
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  October 3, 2013
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB023 ARRL Executive Committee to Consider Numerous Regulatory

The ARRL Executive Committee (EC) will face an agenda heavy on FCC
and regulatory issues when it meets Saturday, October 5 in the
Denver, Colorado, area.

Among action items, the EC is expected to consider the filing of a
Petition for Rule Making, now in draft, seeking to delete
restrictions on symbol rates for data communication and to establish
a 2.8 kHz maximum authorized bandwidth for HF digital data
emissions. At its July meeting, the ARRL Board of Directors directed
ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, to prepare a Petition for
Rule Making with the FCC seeking to modify §97.307(f) to delete
all references to "symbol rate." The Petition would ask the FCC "to
apply to all amateur data emissions below 29.7 MHz the existing
bandwidth limit, per §97.303(h), of 2.8 kHz."

The Board determined that the current symbol rate restrictions in
§97.307(f) "no longer reflect the state of the art of digital
telecommunications technology," and that the proposed rule change
would "encourage both flexibility and efficiency in the employment
of digital emissions by amateur stations." ARRL CEO David Sumner,
K1ZZ, explained the Board's action on symbol rate regulation in his
September 2013 QST "It Seems to Us" editorial.

The EC also will consider authorizing comments on an FCC Public
Notice on recommendations approved by the WRC-15 Advisory Committee.
The Committee will consider approving the filing of comments with
the FCC that express concerns about expanding proposed radiolocation
use of the 77.5 to 78 GHz band beyond on-vehicle applications to,
for example, fixed roadside applications. The comment deadline is
October 11, although the FCC shutdown may change that date.

The EC also will continue to evaluate strategies to improve the
FCC's Amateur Radio enforcement program and consider filing reply
comments on FCC ET Docket 13-84, regarding a reexamination of RF
exposure regulations (reply comments are due November 11, subject to
the FCC shutdown). While the FCC proposals do not alter existing RF
exposure limits, they do call for the elimination of existing
special evaluation exemptions spelled out in §97.13(c) of the
Commission's rules. Minor rules changes adopted in the Report and
Order section of the document took effect August 5.

In addition the EC will discuss a manufacturer's proposal to delete
§97.317(a)(2), requiring that amplifiers operating below 144 MHz
"not be capable of amplifying the input RF power (driving signal) by
more than 15 dB gain." The Committee will consider whether to
propose the rules change described.

The EC will hear status updates on other regulatory matters,
including the ARRL's Petition for Rule Making filed last November to
create a new MF allocation for the Amateur Service at 472-479 kHz.
The FCC's ET Docket 13-101 regarding receiver performance standards
also will come up for discussion, as will pending amendments of the
Amateur Service rules governing qualifying exam systems, Amateur
Radio use of TDMA equipment, and remote proctoring of exam sessions.

Other topics on the EC agenda for review include the FCC's proposed
revision of Part 15 rules to permit unlicensed National Information
Infrastructure (U-NII) devices in the 5 GHz band, the effects of
communications towers on migratory birds, and amendments to the
FCC's CORES system. There has been no recent FCC action on these

The EC also will hear a report on the status of the effort to have
the "Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2013" introduced in
the 113th Congress. The objective of the League's draft bill is an
instruction from Congress to the FCC to extend the existing limited
preemption of state and local regulation of Amateur Radio station
antenna structures to private land-use regulations.


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