A little over a month after the Federal Communications Commission released
the Report and Order (R&O) in the so-called "Omnibus" Amateur Radio
proceeding, WT Docket 04-140 (FCC
06-149) to the public, a revised version
appeared November 15 in the Federal Register <Report & Order
>. The changes in the R&O will take effect Friday,
December 15, at 12:01 AM
EST, 30 days after its publication.
As expected, the Report & Order clarified two items that had raised some
concerns when it was first released last month: That the 80/75 meter band
split applies to all three IARU Regions, and that FCC
licensees in Region 2,
which includes North America, can continue to use RTTY/data emissions in the
7.075-7.100 MHz band.
Still to be resolved are three controversial aspects of the Proceeding:
* Expansion of the 75 meter phone band all the way down to 3600 kHz (thus
reducing the privileges of General, Advanced and Amateur Extra class
licensees, who had RTTY/data privileges in the 80 meter band, and CW
privileges of General and Advanced class licensees)
* The elimination of J2D emissions, data sent by modulating an SSB
transmitter, of more than 500 Hz bandwidth. This will make PACTOR III at
full capability illegal. Other digital modes effectively rendered illegal
below 30 MHz include Olivia and MT63 (when operated at bandwidths greater
than 500 Hz), 1200-baud packet, Q15X25 and Clover 2000.
* The elimination of access to the automatic control RTTY/data subband at
The ARRL Board is discussing the possibility of a petition to reconsider
several items in the R&O.
ARRL Regulatory Information Specialist Dan Henderson, N1ND, commented: "The
release of the R&O in the Federal Register has started the countdown clock.
We are all looking forward to being able to use the refarmed frequencies
starting on December 15. We are still anxiously awaiting the release of the
Report and Order for 05-235, the Morse Code Proceeding. We are hopeful that
the Commission will be able to move on that petition and address the
outstanding issues in the Omnibus R&O soon."
For more information, see the band chart
the Frequently Asked Questions on WT Docket No. 04-140
>. Both have been
updated to reflect the R&O as it was published in the Federal Register.
From the ARRL News Letter---Rich