Category Archives: FCC

FCC Proposes to Permit Amateur Access to 2200 and 630 Meters

ARRL.org
April 28, 2015

Amateur Radio is poised to gain access to two new bands! The FCC has allocated a new LF band, 135.7 to 137.8 kHz, to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis. Allocation of the 2.1 kHz segment, known as 2200 meters, was in accordance with the Final Acts of the 2007 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-07). The Commission also has proposed a new secondary 630 meter MF allocation at 472 to 479 kHz to Amateur Radio, implementing decisions made at WRC-12. No Amateur Radio operation will be permitted in either band until the FCC determines, on the basis of comments, the specific Part 97 rules it must frame to permit operation in the new bands. Amateur Radio would share both allocations with unlicensed Part 15 power line carrier (PLC) systems operated by utilities to control the power grid, as well as with other users. In addition, the FCC has raised the secondary Amateur Service allocation at 1900 to 2000 kHz to primary, while providing for continued use by currently unlicensed commercial fishing vessels of radio buoys on the “open sea.”

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House Committee Asks FCC for Documents Related to Proposed Enforcement Bureau Closures

ARRL.org
April 24, 2015

The US House Committee on Energy and Commerce has given the Federal Communications Commission a May 7 deadline to produce documents related to FCC Enforcement Bureau proposals to close two-thirds of its field offices and eliminate nearly one-half of its staff of field agents. In an April 23 letter, Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) told FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that his panel wants the Commission to provide all documents relating to the proposed closures.

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FCC Ham Expert to Retire

Bill CrossBy Leslie Stimson

Bill Cross, W3TN, plans to retire from the FCC this week after over 38 years of service.

Officially, Cross is an analyst in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, however his colleagues send him anything amateur radio-related to solve.

He’s looking forward to having a less structured schedule and more time to devote to amateur radio, he tells me. “I hope to get to build new antennas” and get to some equipment that’s been waiting many years for repairs.

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Comments Due by April 6 on 76-81 GHz Radar Sharing Proposals

ARRL.org
March 6, 2015

Comments are due by April 6 on an FCC proceeding that could lead to expanded spectrum for various radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band, which Amateur Radio shares with other services. The band 77.5-78 GHz is allocated to the Amateur and Amateur Satellite services on a primary basis, and to the Radio Astronomy and Space Research services on a secondary basis. The FCC released a detailed Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Reconsideration Order(NPRM&RO) in ET Docket 15-26 on February 5. The Commission said the proposals include allocation changes as well as provisions “to ensure that new and incumbent operations can share the available frequencies in the band.”

The ARRL will file comments in the FCC proceeding. Reply comments (ie, comments on comments filed by the April 5 deadline) are due by April 20.
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FCC Seeks Comment on Radar Sharing Schemes that Could Displace Amateur Radio at 76-81 GHz

ARRL.org
February 9, 2015

The FCC is seeking comment on issues involving expanded use of various radar applications in the 76-81 GHz band, which Amateur Radio shares with other services. The band 77.5-78 GHz is allocated to the Amateur and Amateur Satellite services on a primary basis, and to the Radio Astronomy and Space Research services on a secondary basis.

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FCC “Paperless” Amateur Radio License Policy Goes into Effect on February 17

ARRL.org
January 29, 2015

Starting February 17, the FCC no longer will routinely issue paper license documents to Amateur Radio applicants and licensees. The Commission has maintained for some time now that the official Amateur Radio license authorization is the electronic record that exists in its Universal Licensing System (ULS), although the FCC has continued to print and mail hard copy licenses. In mid-December the FCC adopted final procedures to provide access to official electronic authorizations, as proposed in WT Docket 14-161 as part of its “process reform” initiatives.

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ARRL Asks FCC for 2300 MHz Primary Allocation

ARRL.org
October 1, 2014

ARRL Again Asks FCC to Elevate Amateur Service 2300-2305 MHz Allocation to Primary

In comments filed in response to an AT&T Mobility Petition for Rule Making seeking a new air-to-ground communications system on 2.3 GHz Wireless Communications Service (WCS) spectrum, the ARRL has once again asked the FCC to elevate the Amateur Service allocation at 2300 to 2305 MHz from secondary to primary. The Petition (RM-11731) asked the Commission to authorize an LTE-based in-flight connectivity service in the WCS “C” and “D” blocks (2305-2315 MHz and 2350-2360 MHz, respectively) for airlines and airline passengers. AT&T has asserted that restrictions on out-of-band emission and power limits to protect adjacent-band users make the use of the C and D blocks problematic. The wireless provider asked the FCC for rule changes to permit deployment of its service “using currently fallow spectrum” while also “preserving adequate interference protection to users of adjacent bands.”

“Notwithstanding this broad and nebulous claim, there is no showing anywhere in the four corners of the Petition that the proposed rule changes would permit anycontinued Amateur Radio operations on a secondary basis in the shared A block (2305-2310 MHz),” the ARRL commented on September 22. More to the point, the League said, there is no showing in the Petition that Amateur Radio operations in the adjacent 2300-2350 MHz band would be protected from increased out-of-band emissions, if the FCC were to implement the changes requested.

The League asserted in its comments that the FCC has, to date, “failed to protect Amateur Radio operations at 2300-2305 MHz from WCS out-of-band emissions.” The ARRL said the band is “regularly and substantially utilized by radio amateurs” for weak-signal, long-distance communication and, only by circumstances — a lack of a primary occupant — has it been able to enjoy that segment as a de factoprimary user.

“The Commission’s rules are quite clear that WCS licensees enjoy no entitlement to disrupt adjacent-band radio service operations,” the ARRL commented. But, the League pointed out, previous FCC actions to expand mobile broadband devices left 2300-2305 MHz vulnerable to increased out-of-band interference that would be difficult or impossible to mitigate. The ARRL said amateur stations operating in the 2300-2305 MHz band would be unable to avoid interference from AT&T Mobility’s proposed system, and that the FCC has refused to clarify the obligation of WCS mobile providers to avoid interference to Amateur Radio operations there.

The ARRL objected to what it called the FCC’s “practice of making allocation decisions which place incompatible uses in close proximity to amateur stations and then place on the amateur licensees the burden of avoiding the interference.”

“It is obvious that the result of the AT&T Petition will be a virtual preclusion of amateur access to the 2305-2310 MHz segment,” the ARRL’s comments continued. “A ubiquitous air-to-ground system which operates at and above 2305 MHz will clearly render the secondary allocation status of that segment a virtual nullity.”

The ARRL asked the FCC to recognize Amateur Radio’s “de facto primary status” at 2300-2305 MHz and to elevate that segment from secondary to primary for amateurs. It further called on the Commission to “clarify the obligation of WCS licensees in all contexts to protect the adjacent-band Amateur Service operations at 2300-2305 MHz from harmful interference.” Finally, the League requested that AT&T provide “a complete technical compatibility showing and interference analysis” that would demonstrate compatibility between its proposed service and amateur operations at 2300-2305 MHz.

FCC Proposes to Fine CBer $14,000

ARRL.org
08/23/2014

FCC Proposes to Fine CBer $14,000 for Not Permitting Station Inspection

The FCC continued this month to demonstrate that it’s serious about enforcing its rules and regulations, proposing to fine a Florida Citizens Band operator $14,000 for failing to allow FCC agents inspect his station. The Commission issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) to Tommie Salter of Jacksonville on August 22. The Commission alleged that Salter earlier this year denied permission for agents from the FCC’s Tampa Office to check out his station in the wake of renewed complaints of interference to a neighbor’s “home electronic equipment.” On March 21, the agents monitored radio transmissions on 27.245 MHz and used radio direction-finding techniques to track the signal’s source to Salter’s residence.

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FCC Alleges Deliberate Interference, Fines for Two Radio Amateurs

ARRL.org
07/29/2014

FCC Alleges Deliberate Interference, Failure to Identify in Proposing Substantial Fines for Two Radio Amateurs

The FCC Enforcement Bureau came down hard on two radio amateurs this week, proposing substantial fines for alleged deliberate interference to other Amateur Radio communications — in one case by transmitting music and animal noises — and failure to properly identify. In similar Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NALs) released July 22, the Commission proposed fining Michael Guernsey, KZ8O (ex-ND8V), of Parchment, Michigan, $22,000, and Brian Crow, K3VR, of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, $11,500. In both cases, the FCC said the evidence indicated that the transmissions at issue were aimed at interfering with other radio amateurs with whom each “has had a long-standing and well-documented dispute” that had spilled out onto the air.

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Radio Amateur Facing Substantial Fine for CB Violation

ARRL.org
March 24, 2014

Radio Amateur Facing Substantial Fine for CB Violation

An Oklahoma Amateur Extra class licensee is facing a $12,000 fine for operating his Citizens Band radio to “interfere with the communications of other CB stations,” the FCC said in a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) released March 21. In May 2013 an FCC agent used mobile direction-finding techniques to positively identify the source of a continuous carier of CB channel 19 (27.1850 MHz) to the residence of Orloff Haines, KF5IXX, in Enid, Oklahoma. Haines was not at home, but his wife showed the agent her husband’s CB station, which was transmitting on channel 19.

“Mrs Haines stated that Mr Haines was ‘keyed on,’ or continuously transmitting on channel 19, because other CB operators in the area were harassing her,” the FCC reported in the NAL. The agent telephoned Orloff Haines during the station inspection, and, the FCC said, he admitted that he was transmitting a continuous carrier on channel 19. Mrs Haines “voluntarily turned off” the CB transmitter at the end of the inspection. The FCC said the carrier was interfering with CB communication within an approximately 2 mile radius.

Prior to last May, Haines had received two written warnings from the Dallas FCC office, advising him of the consequences of intentionally interfering with other CB communications. “The fact that Mr Haines interfered with other CB communications despite being twice warned in writing that such actions violated [the Communications Act] and FCC rules demonstrates a deliberate disregard for the Commission’s requirements and authority,” the FCC said, in justifying an upward adjustment of $5000 in the proposed forfeiture.

The FCC gave Haines 30 days to pay the fine or file in writing for reduction or cancellation of the proposed fine.