The ARRL has withdrawn the petition to the FCC which calls for “Regulation by Bandwidth” (RM-11306) in the Amateur Radio Service.
NEWINGTON, CT, Apr 27, 2007 — The ARRL has announced it’s withdrawing its controversial November 2005 Petition for Rule Making (RM-11306) calling on the FCC to establish a regulatory regime to segment bands by necessary bandwidth rather than by emission mode. The League cited “widespread misconceptions” surrounding the petition as a primary reason for deciding to remove it from FCC consideration. The ARRL left open the option of refiling the same or a similar petition in the future, however.
I think the ARRL was on the right path. The FCC rules concerning emissions are stuck in the 1950’s and need to be updated. The basic idea is that modulation formats will change over time and the key parameter that needs to be managed by band segment is the bandwidth of the transmitted signal. That way, we don’t want to go back to the FCC for rule changes everytime some new technology emerges. Makes sense to me.
Unfortunately, the controversy around automated digital stations (read: Winlink) dominated the debate. Some hams concluded that Regulation by Bandwidth was just a conspiracy to allow automated Winlink stations all over the band. I do believe that the ARRL proposal needed to be changed to have tighter restrictions on automated digital operation…we don’t want digital stations firing up randomly on top of ongoing QSOs. But the basic concept of regulating via bandwidth is sound.
73, Bob K0NR