Monday, February 29, 2016

FCC Seeks Comments on ARRL Proposal to Shift 80/75-Meter Boundary

The FCC wants to hear from hams about the ARRL’s recent proposal to shrink the 75-meter phone band by 50 kHz in order to make more space for RTTY (radioteletype) and other data modes. 

Under the ARRL plan, the boundary between the 80-meter CW/RTTY/data band and the 75-meter phone band would shift from its current 3600 kHz up to 3650. The League claims that the FCC took away too much from the CW/RTTY band 10 years ago when it expanded the phone band from its old starting point of 3750 kHz down to 3600. The change, according to the ARRL’s petition, resulted in a “shortfall in available RTTY/data spectrum,” which this proposal is trying to address. In addition, the ARRL petition would make 3600-3650 available to all hams with General Class or higher licenses for RTTY and data modes, and to Novices and Technicians for CW. It would also shift the subband for automatically controlled digital stations from its current 3585-3600 kHz to 3600-3615 kHz. 
The full petition may be found on the FCC website’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) area under RM-11759. The comment period closes on March 21. Opening the petition for public comment is a preliminary step and the FCC has not yet issued – or decided whether to issue – a Notice of Proposed Rule Making to implement any or all of the requested changes.