NEWINGTON, CT (November 15, 2006) -- Just a little over a month after the Federal Communications Commission released the Report and Order (R&O) in the so-called "Omnibus" Amateur Radio proceeding, WT Docket 04-140 (FCC 06-149) to the public, a revised version appeared today in the Federal Register. The changes in the R&O will take effect Friday, December 15, at 12:01 AM EST, 30 days after its publication.
As expected, the Report & Order as published this morning clarified two items that had raised some concerns when it was first released last month: That the 80/75 meter band split applies to all three IARU Regions, and that FCC licensees in Region 2, which includes North America, can continue to use RTTY/data emissions in the 7.075-7.100 MHz band.
Still to be resolved are three controversial aspects of the Proceeding:
Expansion of the 75 meter phone band all the way down to 3600 kHz (thus reducing the privileges of General, Advanced and Amateur Extra class licensees, who had RTTY/data privileges in the 80 meter band, and CW privileges of General and Advanced class licensees)
The elimination of J2D emissions, data sent by modulating an SSB transmitter, of more than 500 Hz bandwidth (thus making PACTOR III at full capability illegal), and
The elimination of access to the automatic control RTTY/data subband at 3620-3635 kHz.
The ARRL Board is discussing the possibility of a petition to reconsider several items in the R&O.
ARRL Regulatory Information Specialist Dan Henderson, N1ND, commented: "The release of the R&O in the Federal Register has started the countdown clock. We are all looking forward to being able to use the refarmed frequencies starting on December 15. We are still anxiously awaiting the release of the Report and Order for 05-235, the Morse Code Proceeding. We are hopeful that the Commission will be able to move on that petition and address the outstanding issues in the Omnibus R&O soon."
For more information, see the band
chart [917,715 bytes, PDF] and the Frequently
Asked Questions on WT Docket No. 04-140. Both have been updated to reflect
the R&O as it was published in the Federal Register.