Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Say It Ain't So, ARRL !!!

This was posted to QRP-L yesterday by Alex KR1ST. Alex is a very level headed guy; and I have no qualms with accepting this as the truth.

The top echelon of the ARRL and its counsel have met with the FCC, on February 13th 2007, to change their petition on regulation by bandwidth (RM-11306). Indeed, after the deadline for comments and reply comments have expired:

The changes they now propose will in effect allow (automated and non-automated) RTTY and data transmissions up to 3kHz wide in those portions of the HF band you now traditionally find only CW. If you read the appendix carefully and compare that to their original proposal you can see that they have dropped bandwidth segment divisions for all but the ten meter band.

If you thought that CW operations were relatively safe under the original regulation by bandwidth proposal because the proposed bandwidths were so narrow in your segment of interest to be useful for high speed data, well, it is not anymore. The new proposal allows for RTTY and data up to 3 kHz wide to be transmitted all the way down to where you now traditionally only find CW transmissions.

One may wonder why the membership is not informed of this meeting and the dramatic changes in the petition. This new proposal is not only harmful to (QRP) CW operations but also to operations outside the USA and its territories.

As you can see from their meeting record, the ARRL argues that a revision of the petition was necessary because of recent rule changes. One of the big rule changes is of course the dropping of the Morse Code proficiency test. Perhaps the ARRL expects CW to eventually disappear and has already begun the refarming of the CW portions of the HF bands. You probably noticed the recent request on the ARRL web site for expertise on HF Digital Communications.

If you haven't done so before, now is a good time to let the FCC and the ARRL know what you think of this revised proposal so that you don't get reminded one day that you should have taken action, when that robot station pierces your ears during your pleasant Sunday afternoon CW sked. You can file additional comments through the FCC's ECFS system:

and you can contact the ARRL through the usual channels.

--Alex KR1ST

Write your Division Director and leave comments with the FCC today!

73 de Larry W2LJ

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