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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB039 (1997)

ARLB039 ARRL Board supports ham spectrum protections, band plans, VE
rules changes

ARRL Bulletin 39  ARLB039
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  July 21, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLB039 ARRL Board supports ham spectrum protections, band plans, VE
rules changes

The ARRL Board of Directors has resolved to support legislation that
would provide statutory protections for ham radio frequencies. The
action came as the Board met July 18 and 19 in Rocky Hill,
Connecticut. In taking this action, the Board cited the potential
threat to Amateur Radio bands from the federal policy of selling
spectrum to the highest bidder.

In a separate action, the Board voted to seek primary Amateur
Service allocations of 5650 to 5725 MHz and 5825 to 5850 MHz in the
5650 to 5925 MHz band that is now a secondary allocation.

Voluntary band plans would be referenced in the FCC's rules under
another Board action. Noting the erosion in the level of compliance
with the various band plans, the Board voted to petition the FCC to
amend the amateur rules to state that hams ''should be familiar with,
and should abide by'' voluntary band plans that apply to the
frequencies they use.

In another action, the Board voted to volunteer the League's services
as a special event call sign common data base coordinator. The Board
approved a motion to submit a request in response to a recent FCC
invitation. The request will ''express the League's interest in
serving as a special event call sign coordinator at no cost to the
applicants.'' The League would cooperate with other groups or
individuals the FCC might select to serve as coordinators. Among
other things, the League would work with them to develop common
guidelines to govern the reservation of special event call signs.

Under a new policy approved by the board, ARRL Volunteer Examiners
will not administer exam elements for which they have received
credit on the basis of a medical exemption. The Board also proposed
changes in the FCC's Volunteer Examiner rules to require that
applicants attempt an accommodated Morse code exam before seeking a
medical exemption, and to ensure that medical information supporting
an exemption is on file before the application for exemption is
forwarded to the FCC.

Noting that no clear consensus has emerged in the wake of suggestions
to restructure the Amateur Radio licensing system, the Board voted to
extend the period for member comments.  At its January meeting, the
Board had received a committee report that offered several
suggestions to revamp the amateur licensing system. Until further
notice, members may continue to direct comments on restructuring to
their ARRL directors. The Board plans to revisit the issue at a
later date.

In other action, the Board:

 approved a change in Field Day rules to add non-CW digital modes as
a separate mode.

 called for the convening of an industry standards conference to
explore adoption of common interconnection standards for Amateur
Radio equipment. The Board said that adoption of common standards
''would reduce the cost and complexity of Amateur radio stations.''

 authorized President Rod Stafford, KB6ZV, to appoint an exploratory
committee to determine the best way for the ARRL to pursue the
development of endowment funds to maintain certain essential ARRL
activities ''despite budgetary pressures.''

 directed the introduction of a program to coordinate a nationwide
effort to enlist local volunteers from ARRL-affiliated and special
service clubs ''to introduce young people to technology through
Amateur Radio and to potential careers in technology.'' In approving
the resolution, the Board cited the increasing importance of
technological literacy and President Clinton's call for greater
volunteer efforts on behalf of youth.

 approved the addition of a system of technical awards to recognize
achievement in technical service, innovation, and microwave

 voted to have the Volunteer Resources Committee review the duties
and responsibilities of the State Government Liaison and consider
renaming the position.


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