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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB065 (2003)

ARLB065 FCC adds Part 15 spectrum at 5 GHz, turns down ARRL request

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 65  ARLB065
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  November 19, 2003
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB065 FCC adds Part 15 spectrum at 5 GHz, turns down ARRL request

The FCC has made another 255 MHz of spectrum available in the
5.470-5.725 GHz band for unlicensed Part 15 National Information
Infrastructure (U-NII) devices, including Radio Local Area Network
(RLAN) devices. In a Report and Order in ET Docket 03-122 released
November 18, the FCC said it was taking the action to alleviate
crowding in existing allocations and to align U-NII bands in the US
with bands elsewhere in the world. The FCC turned down an ARRL
request to keep U-NII devices out of the 5.650 to 5.670 GHz segment
to avoid interference with the Amateur Satellite Service. Amateur
Radio has a secondary allocation from 5.650 to 5.925 GHz.

"We are not persuaded that we should either add or modify our
proposed rules as requested by ARRL," the FCC said, adding that its
dynamic frequency selection (DFS) and transmitter power control
(TPC) requirements "will in fact protect amateur operations,"
although they're not specifically designed to do so.

Commenting in the proceeding September 3, the ARRL expressed
concerns about "potential aggregate interference" from U-NII devices
to Amateur Radio space stations in the 5.650-5.670 GHz band. The
League did support of other elements of the FCC's proposals,
however, including a power limitation of 1 W EIRP, and said hams
were willing to cooperate with the RLAN industry on other
sharing-related issues.

In its comments, the League said the amateur allocation at 5.650 to
5.925 MHz "has been subject to 'death by a thousand cuts.'" The
FCC's most recent action leaves Amateur Radio with "relatively
uncompromised access" to a 25-MHz segment at 5 GHz--5.825 to 5.850
GHz, the ARRL said. That includes a 20-MHz-wide satellite downlink
segment, 5.830 to 5.850 GHz. Federal government users are primary
over the entire band.

The Commission said that because of the large amount of spectrum
it's adding to the 300 MHz of spectrum already available for U-NII
devices, it expects the density of devices to be relatively low. "We
believe that this low density of devices coupled with our technical
requirements will provide adequate protection to all incumbent
systems in the band, including amateur satellite uplink systems,"
the FCC said.

The R&O culminated a 2002 Petition for Rule Making from the
Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA), now known as the
Wi-Fi Alliance.


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