Monday, March 9, 2020

ARRL/AMSAT File Comments Opposing Removal of 3.4-GHz Ham Band

Both the ARRL and AMSAT have filed formal comments with the FCC in opposition to the Commission's proposal to reallocate the 3.3-3.5 GHz band, on which amateurs currently have a secondary allocation. According to the ARRL Letter, the FCC proposal is in response to a law passed by Congress in 2018 to make more spectrum available for wireless broadband. 

The League's comments highlighted the work of amateurs on the band over many decades, studying propagation and building mesh networks, amateur television networks and conducting moonbounce communication. The ARRL says there is no reason why these activities cannot continue while still accommodating broadband use, noting that hams are frequency-agile and can avoid causing interference to primary users. 

AMSAT noted the importance of microwave spectrum for current and future amateur satellite projects, emphasizing that the best frequencies for satellite uplinks are between 2.4 and 5.67 GHz, even though there are currently no amateur satellites using 3.4 GHz because it is not available in Europe and Africa. The AMSAT News Service says the comments also highlighted the many non-satellite uses of the band, including mesh networking, EME and contesting.