Category Archives: Frequency

FCC puts gigabit Wi-Fi on the roadmap by opening up new wireless spectrum

by Devin Coldewey

Wi-Fi wireless internet router on dark background

More and more, the internet is delivered wirelessly, but as bandwidth demand grows in each home  — multiple TVs, smart devices, tablets and phones — current Wi-Fi standards are starting to fall short. Fortunately the FCC  and wireless industry are prepared for this, and the former has just officially proposed opening up a wide swathe of spectrum to bring our Wi-Fi systems up to gigabit level.

Many of the devices we use now operate on what’s called “unlicensed” bands of spectrum, so called because they’re not set aside specifically and tightly regulated, like military or official broadcast bands. Instead the industry was allowed to make what they could out of a set of frequencies as long as they did so within reason, and it’s been a roaring success, promoting both competition and cooperation.

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NTIA Targets Portion of 3.4 GHz Band for Potential Wireless Broadband Use

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has identified 3450 to 3550 MHz for potential wireless broadband use. Amateur Radio has a secondary allocation of 3300 to 3500 MHz, sharing the spectrum with government radars; the popular “weak-signal” frequency is 3456.1 MHz. The NTIA oversees the use of spectrum by federal government agencies.

“America is the world’s leader in Wi-Fi and 4G LTE, and we have claimed an early lead in bringing 5G to reality,” NTIA Administrator David J. Redl said in making the announcement. “It’s essential to American competitiveness that we maintain our leadership in all of these areas.”

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FCC Opens 630- and 2200-Meter Bands; Stations Must Notify UTC Before Operating

The FCC has announced that the Office of Management and Budget has approved, for 3 years, the information-collection requirement of the Commission’s March 29 Report and Order (R&O) that spelled out Amateur Radio service rules for the two new bands — 630 meters and 2200 meters. Notice of the action appears in today’s edition of the Federal Register. Before using either band, stations must notify the Utilities Technology Council (UTC), formerly the Utilities Telecom Council, that they plan to do so, and if UTC does not respond within 30 days, they may commence operation.

Last March 27, the FCC adopted the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) implementation Report and Order (ET Docket 15-99), amending its Amateur Radio rules to — in the FCC’s words — “provide for frequency-sharing requirements in the 135.7-137.8 kHz (2200-meter) and 472-479 kHz (630-meter) bands.”

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Not All “Intruders” on Ham Bands are Illegal — But a Lot of Them Are

The monthly newsletter of the International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 Monitoring Service (IARUMS) typically makes for some interesting reading. While the reports that come from more than two dozen contributors in Europe and Africa can be a bit visually dense, the content conveys the impression that that there are myriad intruders on the Amateur Radio bands. However, not all of them are illegal, as IARUMS points out, but a lot of the signals heard are not supposed to be where they were monitored. The individual reports can be a bit humorous too.

“Get the grub, and I’ll talk to you later this evening,” was a snippet of a conversation between two fishermen — identified as Mick and Jack — that an Irish Radio Transmitters Society (IRTS) monitor overheard on 3.570 MHz and reported to the IARUMS. The IRTS said the chatter was accompanied on both sides by “loud motor noise,” and, if that were not sufficient detail, it pointed out that both men had Galway accents. Intruding signals from fishing crews throughout IARU Region 1 are commonplace.

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ARRL September VHF 2017

The ARRL September VHF Contest starts September 9th at 11:00 am and ends September 10th at 8:00 pm PDT.

Club Competition

The Clovis Amateur Radio Pioneers will be participating in the Club Gavel Competition for the contest. All club members are encouraged to operate the contest from their home, portable or mobile station as they would normally during the contest. When submitting your logs, add “Club: Clovis Amateur Radio Pioneers” to the log file and let us know that you participated in the contest. Your scores will count towards your normal individual or group awards and also be added to the club’s score to compete with other clubs in the area.

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Band Plan Proposed for Eventual 472-479 kHz Use

ARRL 630-Meter Experiment Coordinator Fritz Raab, W1FR, has proposed an informal band plan for the pending 472-479 kHz band. Raab said that once US radio amateurs are granted access to 630 meters, he would move stations operating under the blanket WD2XSH FCC Experimental (Part 5) license to 461-472 kHz.

“This will clear the amateur frequencies, while allowing the experimenters to run unattended propagation beacons without using the limited bandwidth that will be available to amateurs,” Raab explained in his spring 630-Meter Experiment Project Status quarterly report. “The new 630-meter band will have a very limited amount of spectrum (7 kHz).”

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FCC Part 97 Ham Radio Changes

On June 14 the FCC WRC–12 Implementation Report and Order was published in the US Federal Register

The Federal Communications Commission has implemented allocation changes from the World Radiocommunication Conference (Geneva, 2012) (WRC–12) and updated its service rules. The Commission took this action to conform its rules, to the extent practical, to the decisions that the international community made at WRC–12.

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New Bands! FCC Issues Amateur Radio Service Rules for 630 Meters and 2,200 Meters 03/31/2017

It’s been a long time coming, but the Amateur Service will get two new bands in the near future. The FCC on March 28 adopted rules that will allow secondary Amateur Radio access to 472-479 kHz (630 meters) and to 135.7-137.8 kHz (2,200 meters), with minor conditions. The FCC Report and Order (R&O) spells out the details. It allocates 472-479 kHz to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis and amends Part 97 to provide for Amateur Service use of that band as well as of the previously allocated 135.7-137.8 kHz band. The R&O also amends Part 80 rules to authorize radio buoy operations in the 1900-2000 kHz band under a ship station license. Just when the new Part 97 rules will go into effect is difficult to determine just yet; more on that below.

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The Netherlands Modifies 5 MHz Amateur Radio Privileges to Conform with WRC-15 Global Allocation

Telecommunication regulators in The Netherlands have scaled back considerably the liberal 60-meter privileges announced for radio amateurs in that country just days after the conclusion of World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15). Since December 2015, amateurs in The Netherlands have had access to a 100-kHz wide amateur band at 5 MHz, with a maximum power of 100 W.

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