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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB034 (1996)

ARLB034 Band threat - part 3

ARRL Bulletin 34  ARLB034
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  May 30, 1996
To all radio amateurs

ARLB034 Band threat - part 3

Amateurs Mobilize Against Threat to 2 meters, 70 cm - Part 3 of 4

One of the WRC-97 agenda items includes consideration of possible
additional frequency allocations for the mobile-satellite service.
So-called ''little LEOs,'' low-earth orbit satellites below 1 GHz,
already have allocations.  Their proponents claim these are
inadequate and are trying for more. The needs of little LEOs are
being addressed in IWG-2A, chaired by Warren Richards of the
Department of State. The ARRL technical relations staff participates
in IWG-2A to represent Amateur Radio interests.  At the May 7 IWG-2A
meeting, an industry representative proposed a list of ''candidate
bands'' for little LEOs. The list includes a number of bands that
would negatively impact existing services, and does not include
others that would be technically more feasible but to which strong
objection from incumbents could be expected--the point being that
some political, rather than purely technical, judgment already has
influenced the list. Incredibly, 144-148 and 420-450 MHz were
included on the list. This is the first time in memory that another
service has been proposed for the two-meter amateur band. We must
make sure it is also the last time.

We do not need to explain to ARRL members the extensive use that is
made of these bands by amateurs. The two bands provide the backbone
of our local public service communications effort. Voice and data,
mobile and fixed, even television--the list of present amateur uses
is a long one, and of future uses is even longer. Both are already
used for satellite services and for moonbounce and extended-range
terrestrial operations requiring extremely sensitive receivers and
high levels of effective radiated power.

Apparently we did need to explain all this to the little LEO
industry representatives, so we did just that--both at the meeting
and in a follow-up letter on May 15. We also explained that we had to
regard the matter as extremely serious. No one with the slightest
background in radiocommunication could possibly believe that a
mobile-satellite service could be introduced into either band
without disrupting existing and future amateur operations.
Therefore, we said, if we did not receive assurance that they would
be taken off the list of candidate bands by the deadline for this
issue of QST, we would have no choice but to bring the matter to the
attention of the entire membership.

Continued in part 4 (ARLB035).


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