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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB062 (1999)

ARLB062 FCC relaxes rules for spread spectrum

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 62  ARLB062
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 9, 1999
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB062 FCC relaxes rules for spread spectrum

The FCC has relaxed rules governing the use of spread spectrum
techniques by radio amateurs and opened the door to the possibility
of international spread spectrum communication. The Report and Order
in WT Docket 97-12 adopted August 31 concludes a proceeding that
originated with an ARRL petition in December 1995 and has been
pending since 1997.

The FCC adopted rules that will allow Amateur Radio stations to
transmit additional spread spectrum emission types. Once the new
rules become effective November 1, hams will be able to use
techniques other than frequency hopping and direct sequence
spreading. In addition, the new FCC rules will permit US hams to use
spread spectrum techniques to communicate with amateurs in other
countries that permit SS. Spread spectrum communication has been
limited to stations within FCC jurisdiction.

The new rules require that spread spectrum stations running more
than 1 W incorporate automatic transmitter power control. Amateur
stations using SS are restricted to a maximum power of 100 W.

The Commission also amended the rules to eliminate what it called
''now-unnecessary record keeping and station identification
requirements'' that apply only to stations using spread spectrum.
The FCC agreed to let SS stations identify themselves using
conventions developed by the Amateur Radio community.

Roanoke Division Vice Director Dennis Bodson, W4PWF, who has
followed the League's Spread Spectrum initiative through from start
to finish was pleased with the outcome of the proceeding. ''I'm very
happy,'' he said. ''The League got everything it wanted and
more--all of which, I believe, will help to promote this mode on the
amateur bands.''

Stations employing spread spectrum techniques will remain secondary
to--and must accept all interference from--stations employing other
authorized modes. The FCC declined to authorize the use of spread
spectrum techniques on additional bands or frequencies.

A copy of the FCC's complete Report and Order is available at


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