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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB032 (1996)

ARLB032 Band threat - part 1

ARRL Bulletin 32  ARLB032
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  May 30, 1996
To all radio amateurs

ARLB032 Band threat - part 1

Amateurs Mobilize Against Threat to 2 meters, 70 cm - Part 1 of 4

The American Radio Relay League is asking radio amateurs across the
United States to help defeat a threat to the two most heavily used
amateur VHF and UHF bands.

An industry working group known as IWG-2A that is preparing draft US
proposals for the 1997 World Radiocommunication Conference has
before it a list of ''candidate bands'' for low-earth orbit mobile
satellites (''little LEOs'') that includes, among a number of others
suggested for consideration, the 144 and 420 MHz bands. Little LEOs
are intended mainly to offer commercial paging and other
low-data-rate messaging services. The list of candidate bands was
submitted by little LEO industry representatives at a meeting of
IWG-2A on May 7. ARRL Technical Relations Manager Paul Rinaldo,
W4RI, was present and objected strongly to the inclusion of these
two bands.  He was told that objections should be submitted in
written comments, and the ARRL did so on May 15. At the same time
the ARRL advised the industry participants in IWG-2A along with its
chairman, Warren Richards of the Department of State, that if we did
not receive assurance that the bands would be dropped from the list
of candidate bands we would have no choice but to advise members in
July QST that the bands were under threat. No such assurances were
forthcoming. Instead, we were told that as long as little LEO
allocations requirements remained unsatisfied, everything had to
remain on the table.

This response was not acceptable. Accordingly, when July QST went to
the printer on Tuesday, May 28, it included the following editorial.
The editorial speaks for itself, but it is worth emphasizing that
there is no reason for panic. What we are dealing with is an
ill-considered industry effort that is in its early stages, there is
no reason to believe there is any government support for any move
against these two amateur bands. Our mission is to quash the idea
before it goes any further. An outpouring of thoughtful comment by
amateurs, explaining why the public interest would not be served by
the introduction of commercial services into these bands, will go a
long way toward ensuring the desired outcome.

The editorial may be reprinted in its entirety with the credit line,
''Reprinted with permission from July 1996 QST.''

Continued in part two (ARLB033).


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