Friday, June 30, 2017

Inching Closer on New MF/LF Bands

Access to our new bands at 630 and 2200 meters is one step closer, but not there yet. The FCC's Report and Order establishing a secondary amateur allocation on these bands and setting out the parameters for operating on them (such as power limits, etc.) has been published in the Federal Register, but the door is not yet open.

According to the ARRL Letter, the next step will be for the FCC to work out the procedures by which amateurs will need to notify the United Technology Council of intent to operate on the bands. UTC represents power utilities that use these low and medium frequencies for power line communication (PLC) systems that control the power grid. Amateur operation on 630 and 2200 meters will not be allowed within one kilometer of transmission lines using PLC and notification to UTC will be required prior to going on the air.

Once the procedures have been developed (and there is no timetable for doing so), the FCC will issue a Public Notice providing the details and announcing opening dates for the bands. Until then, general amateur operation is still not allowed.