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Amateur Allocation at Lower MF Gains Formal Support in the Americas


A secondary allocation to the Amateur Radio Service at 461-469 and 471-478 kHz gained inter-American support in meetings held earlier this month in Bogota, Colombia, with the Permanent Consultative Committee II (PCC.II) of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) adopting the US position for the MF allocation. World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12) Agenda Item 1.23 calls on participants “to consider an allocation of about 15 kHz in parts of the band 415-526.5 kHz to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis, taking into account the need to protect existing services.”

Canada -- which had previously supported a secondary allocation at 472-487 kHz -- withdrew that support and aligned itself with the US at the meeting in Bogota. Over the course of the meeting, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela signed on to have CITEL present the agenda item at WRC-12 as an Inter-American Proposal (IAP). The support of six countries is required for a proposal to gain IAP status. The US agreed to support the allocation earlier this year, despite initial opposition by maritime interests.

As a member of the US delegation, ARRL Technical Relations Specialist Jon Siverling, WB3ERA, attended the meeting, serving as Rapporteur for the agenda item. IARU Region 2 President Reinaldo Leandro, YV5AMH, was also in attendance on behalf of the IARU. The adoption of an affirmative IAP on Agenda Item 1.23 represents an important milestone in the ARRL’s and the IARU’s international advocacy efforts.

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, explained that while the milestone is important, there is still work to be done on the agenda item to maximize success at WRC-12: “While we still face an uphill battle internationally, gaining the support of one of the major regional telecommunications organizations this early in the process improves our chances for achieving an allocation at WRC-12.”

CITEL is one of six regional telecommunications organizations whose formal positions carry significant weight during deliberations at a WRC. The WRC-12 is scheduled for January 23-February 17, 2012 in Geneva.



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