Monday, May 13, 2019

FCC Puts 90-Day Hold on Digital Rules Proceeding

It often takes a very long time for the FCC to respond to a rules change request, and sometimes technology changes during that time in in ways that affect the original proposal. That seems to be the case with the ARRL's nearly 6-year-old request for a change in amateur radio digital rules, and in the nearly three years since the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making on the matter. One key element of the ARRL's request, according to the ARRL Letter, was a signal bandwidth limitation of 2.8 kHz, the approximate bandwidth of an SSB voice signal. The FCC did not include that limitation in its 2016 NPRM and the ARRL filed comments opposing that change.
Apparently, the FCC was finally getting ready to announce a decision on the matter, but the ARRL now says that in the six years since the original filing, "new information has been presented by individuals and groups who support and oppose the FCC's proposed" rule changes. The League asked the Commission to delay its consideration of a final decision on the matter for 90 days to provide it with time "to clarify the issues and determine whether a consensus can be reached on some or all of the issues raised by the FCC's proceeding." FCC staff agreed to the requested delay and will not take further action on the proposal (Docket #16-239) before July.