Register Account

Login Help

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB028 (2023)

ARLB028 FCC To Vote on Removing Symbol Rate Restrictions

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 28  ARLB028
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  October 30, 2023
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB028 FCC To Vote on Removing Symbol Rate Restrictions

The ARRL welcomes news of a scheduled vote by the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) to consider removing symbol rate
restrictions that restrict digital modes, foster inefficient
spectrum use, and dampen incentives for innovation.  The FCC Fact
Sheet can be found online at, .

In the draft Commission decision, the FCC would replace the current
HF restrictions with a 2.8 kHz bandwidth limit. The Commission also
announced that it will consider a Further Notice in which it will
propose eliminating similar restrictions where they apply in other
bands and consider relying on signal bandwidth limits. If both
actions are adopted by the Commission, there will be a period for
public comment on the Further Notice issues.

In announcing the proposed Commission actions, FCC Chairwoman
Jessica Rosenworcel said that "We're bolstering amateur radio. We
will vote on a proposal to incentivize innovation and
experimentation in the amateur radio bands by removing outdated
restrictions and providing licensees with the flexibility to use
modern digital emissions."

ARRL requested and strongly supports replacing the symbol rate
limits on the HF bands with a 2.8 kHz bandwidth limit. ARRL also
supports eliminating the symbol rate limits in favor of the
already-existing bandwidth limits where they apply on the VHF and
UHF bands and eliminating the similar limits 2200 and 630-meter

ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, said
the changes will result in a tremendous time savings during
disasters, when every second counts. "We will be very pleased to
have the FCC remove the restrictions on symbol rate for the amateur
bands. This will eliminate the need for temporary waivers during an
event and provide the ability to train and exercise using the higher
symbol rate, allowing increased data capability to our served
agencies and partners."

Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) introduced The Amateur Radio
Communications Improvement Act (H.R. 3241) on May 11, 2023, to
require that the FCC eliminate the obsolete HF digital symbol rate
limit with a 2.8 kHz bandwidth limit.

The Congresswoman subsequently addressed the issue with Chairwoman
Rosenworcel in a Congressional oversight hearing. The changes are
supported by many state emergency management officials.

ARRL will continue to engage on this matter.


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn