Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Petition Seeks New Amateur Band at 40 MHz

A Maryland amateur has filed a petition for rulemaking with the FCC, seeking a secondary amateur radio allocation at 8 meters, in the 40-41 MHz range, and the FCC has issued a public notice seeking comments. The spectrum is currently allocated to the federal government and is administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), not the FCC.

According to the ARRL Letter, the petition was filed by Michelle Bradley, KU3N, on behalf of REC Networks, of which she is the founder. REC Networks is primarily an advocacy group for Low-Power FM (LPFM) broadcasters. Bradley feels the added amateur spectrum would provide an opportunity "to spark the next generation of 'makers' in the fields of science, technology, education and math (STEM), especially women and girls,"* noting that there is currently no mass-produced equipment for the band, so "makers" would need to build their own gear. The petition has been numbered RM-11843 and short comments are being accepted via the FCC's Express Electronic Comment Filing Service.

(* The "E" in STEM generally stands for engineering, not education.)