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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB031 (2004)

ARLB031 Draft Bandwidth Petition, BPL Focus of ARRL Executive 
Committee Meeting

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 31  ARLB031
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  October 25, 2004
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB031 Draft Bandwidth Petition, BPL Focus of ARRL Executive 
Committee Meeting

Meeting October 16 in Dallas, Texas, the ARRL Executive Committee
(EC) devoted much of its fall session to a discussion of comments
received on ARRL's draft FCC petition seeking regulation of subbands
by bandwidth rather than by emission mode. The EC also authorized
the filing of a Petition for Reconsideration in response to the BPL
Report and Order (R&O) in ET Docket 04-37, which the FCC adopted
October 14. Drafting and filing the petition must await release of
the actual R&O, which should happen in a few weeks. Responding to a
synopsis of the bandwidth petition and proposed rule changes posted
on the ARRL Web site, several hundred League members and others in
the ham radio community offered comments and suggestions.

''The Executive Committee found considerable support for the concept
of the petition,'' said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, ''along with
constructive suggestions to reduce both the impact of the changes on
current amateur operations, as well as possible unintended

Earlier this year, the EC decided to make a synopsis and explanation
of the petition available to ARRL members before filing it with the
FCC. At this month's meeting, the EC agreed to submit several
recommended amendments to the proposed rules changes to the ARRL
Board of Directors for its consideration in January. These include:

* Retention of rules permitting automatically controlled digital
stations (packet and other digital modes) in narrow HF subbands. The
draft petition had proposed dropping these provisions.

* A rule prohibiting so-called semi-automatic digital operation
(automatic control in response to a communication initiated by a
live operator) on frequencies below 28 MHz where phone is permitted.
This addressed a concern that ''robot'' digital stations might take
over the phone bands.

* A segment for 3 kHz bandwidth (no phone) emissions at
10.135-10.150 MHz to accommodate existing and planned digital

* Deletion of the word ''continuous'' from the description of test
transmissions authorized on most frequencies above 51 MHz.

* Simplification of proposed changes to 97.309 to clarify that
FCC-licensed amateur stations may use any published digital code as
long as other rules are observed.

Sumner emphasized that the recommendations address major issues
raised to date but were not necessarily the last word on the draft
petition. The ARRL's bandwidth proposals take into account the
League's prior ''Novice refarming'' petition to expand some HF phone
bands--included in the ''omnibus'' FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making
in WT Docket 04-140.

The EC also authorized ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, to
''prepare to pursue other available remedies as to procedural and
substantive defects'' in the BPL proceeding.


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