ARRL speaks on Regulation by Bandwidth

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AA7BQ, Feb 25, 2006.

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  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator QRZ Page

    The ARRL says its Petition for Rule Making (RM-11306) to regulate the
    amateur bands by necessary bandwidth rather than by mode represents "a
    reasonable middle ground in a difficult regulatory area." In reply comments
    filed with the FCC February 21, the League said it was gratified to see more
    than 900 commenters responded to the admittedly "controversial" petition and
    noted that many "show the investment of a good deal of thought about the
    proposal." ARRL said it would have been concerned if the amateur community
    had not responded with a loud voice on all facets of the League's
    regulation-by-bandwidth proposal.

    "ARRL continues to believe that its petition is a measured response to
    progress in digital telecommunications technology and successfully balances
    the interests of all, regardless of which of the polarized opinions in this
    proceeding, if any, constitutes a 'majority' view," the League's reply
    comments said. "To the extent that the success of this philosophy
    necessitates the participation and cooperation of all amateurs in the
    development of, and increased reliance on, modernized voluntary band plans,
    ARRL is optimistic that such participation and cooperation will be
    available" as it has in past "transitional phases" in Amateur Radio's

    The ARRL is asking the FCC to replace the table at §97.305© with a new one
    that segments bands by necessary bandwidths ranging from 200 Hz to 100 kHz.
    Unaffected by the ARRL's recommendations, if they're adopted, would be 160
    and 60 meters. Other bands below 29 MHz would be segmented into subbands
    allowing maximum emission bandwidths of 200 Hz, 500 Hz or 3.5 kHz, with an
    exception for AM phone.

    The ARRL says the changes it's proposing constitute a balance "between the
    need to encourage wider bandwidth, faster digital communications and the
    need to reasonably accommodate all users in crowded bands."

    The League's reply comments countered criticism that its petition represents
    "overregulation wrapped in a different cloak," that increased reliance--and
    confidence--in the ability of voluntary band plans to substitute for subband
    regulation by emission mode is misplaced, or that the ARRL's proposal caters
    to a small minority of digital enthusiasts and experimenters. Many of those
    who commented expressed a desire to leave things as they are, some because
    they feel the advent of digital technology may threaten their favorite mode.

    "They are comfortable with the status quo, because the current regulations
    are not encouraging toward digital modes and, therefore, the current
    regulatory scheme, they feel, 'protects' them," the League said. "The
    comfort level with the status quo is high for these licensees, and they have
    not hesitated to tell the Commission so."

    The League emphasized, "All should be accommodated by the regulatory
    structure of amateur subbands, and technology changes demand regulatory
    changes in this instance." Its plan, the League said, "attempts to segment
    emission modes of similar bandwidths in a manner that accommodates the
    varied needs and interests of all, while insuring compatibility by grouping
    like-bandwidth emissions together."

    Citing repeated efforts to gather input from the Amateur Radio community at
    large and from its members since its regulation-by-bandwidth concept was
    first aired in 2002, the League called the petition "the most thoroughly
    vetted regulatory proposal" it's ever developed.

    "The ARRL petition does not favor one mode at the expense of another," the
    League reiterated in concluding its reply comments. "It merely allows
    expansion of the repertoire of options that amateurs may pursue compatibly."

    The ARRL petition is available on the FCC Web site.

    Material from The ARRL Letter may be republished or reproduced in whole or
    in part in any form without additional permission. Credit must be given to
    The ARRL Letter and The American Radio Relay League.
  2. NL7W

    NL7W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The League said this petition was vetted. Hogwash... with whom was this petition vetted by? I wish the League would backup their statements such as this with programmatic facts.

    As far as we all know, this petition was created by a singularly biased ad-hoc committee. And based on overwhelming opposition, the league received individual comments to this petition. Of which, the league did not modify to any degree the original proposal -- based on what was suspected to be valuable public input.

    Again, they are following their own agenda and ignoring the reasoned and overwhelming majority of naysayers from throughout the Nation -- as evidenced in the FCC's received comments regarding RM-11306..

    The League has lost a 20+ member due to this statement.
  3. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    People are outraged at the condescending tone the League's lawyer took in filing the "Reply Comment" on behalf of his client.

    See the excellent discussion underway at:

    Talk & Opinions/

    If you want a good laugh, check how your ARRL has carefully considered the concerns, protests, and opposition filed against their scheme. The ratio of those opposed is about 8:1.

    "League Reply Comment to the FCC"

    There now is a groundswell among people who are indignant that their concerns have been dismissed by the group in Newington in such a cavalier fashion. You will see additional Reply Comments on the FCC website, directly responding to the Petitioner's spin on the response generated. Contribute if you are as moved as others.

  4. N2OBM

    N2OBM Ham Member QRZ Page

    This has me sooo pissed off that I can't even think straight!

    Eight to One OPPOSE

    ARRL are you listening?

    Vet this:
    Get your heads out of your third point of contact!

  5. N7WR

    N7WR Subscriber QRZ Page

    The ARRL, self described as the "National Association For Amateur Radio"--though it represents only about 20% of licensed amateurs in the U S, has made, perhaps, its biggest mistake (and there have been many) of the past 6 years.  This NPRM will, if implemented, benefit only a small percentage of amateurs in this country to the detriment of the majority.  It is a self-serving proposal which during the initial comment period the vast majority of those providing input did not support.

    The unsound nature of the original proposal is exceeded only by the "in your face" tone of the ARRL's reply comments.  Arrogant is probably not an inappropriate description of the League's approach.  

    I say all of this with great regret.  As a Life Member of the League and a former Section Manager it is very disturbing to witness what the ARRL has become over the past six years in particular---out of touch and out for the dollar.  Given how the organization is constructed it is, sadly, not too likely that things will improve any time soon.  It would take an organized, concerted effort on a national basis to vote out the majority of the current Board of Directors and replace them with those who will not put personal interests and power above the common good of amateur radio.  I don't see it happening.  If, and hopefully when, this ill conceived proposal fails it would be a very good thing if the League got the message now being sent to it.  But, again, given the present ARRL structure and heirarchy I don't see that happening either.  Too many BOD members and League staff apparently are convinced that they know far better than everyone else what is good for amateur radio.  Tragically, they don't and the tragedy is compounded by the fact that they simply will not listen, or even attempt to listen, to their membership.
  6. K3TJ

    K3TJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    The ARRL BOD is just too caught up in their own perception of self importance. Looks like they forgot to get a second opinion during their vetting process.

    They are just plain out of control.

    Respectfully, Ed k3tj
  7. KG2RU

    KG2RU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm an ARRL member and proud to be one. But regarding "Regulation by Bandwidth", I'm completely opposed to it. I'm convinced this is a thinly veiled attempt to get the Enhanced SSB'er off the air. Notice that the maximum bandwith is 3.5 KHz but there is an exception for AM. If this were truly Regulation by Bandwidth, the maximum bandwith would be 6 KHz regardless of mode. The only relevant criteria would be the bandwidth. What they have created is a complex scheme to prevent the E-SSB'ers from having any legal use of the bands. It's not Regulation by Bandwidth at all because the mode is intertwined in the regulations. Frankly I object because it is far too complex. And what is wrong with E-SSB? It's no better or worse than AM. It's just different and may actually be helping to attract new hams to the declining ranks. I'm not interested in either E-SSB or AM, but I have no problem sharing the bands with people that are. We don't need any more than 2 sub-bands, one-half Digital and the other half Analog with no consideration to the mode or bandwidth. Digital is defined to be any mode where the carrier power goes from zero to full power with no intermediate states (not counting risetime). Analog is any mode where the power can be modulated to any value between zero and full power. Examples of digital would be CW, Digital Audio, RTTY, Packet, etc. Examples of analog would be AM, SSB, E-SSB, FM, SSTV. It appears to me that more regulation will only stifle the spirt of Amateur Radio which is defined by the FCC to be a medium to experiment via radio. If everything is going to be regulated in advance, where does that leave the experimenter? In the end, if regulation increases, I predict there will be little difference between operating on the ham bands and operating on your cell phone.
    73, Bob
  8. WA4DOU

    WA4DOU Ham Member QRZ Page

    K3TJ & N7WR both see the situation clearly.

    This wouldn't have been a bad proposal if Pactor robots had been corraled. The ARRL BOD however see digital modes as their future salvation and began with being sold on the idea from day one. They didn't listen to any input that came from the members or non members that suggested otherwise.
    If the membership kicked them to the curb for a year or two, Dave Sumner would sit up and take notice.
  9. KY6LA

    KY6LA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Most of the Rest of the World with whom we share these bands has already got the "Regulation by Bandwidth" right and are only waiting for the US Hams to catch up...

    I enjoy all the humorous ranting against the ARRL, Winlink, PACTOR, Digital Modes, the Internet, the Price of Tea in China.... [​IMG]

    Bottom Line:

    Some form of Regulation by Bandwidth is inevitable....

    If only to keep us compatible with the rest of the world with who we share these bands....

  10. K3UD

    K3UD Guest


    It was the ARRL that filed the petition without very much comment or input from the membership.... and to me, that is the main problem. For years the ARRL has been touting the membership itself as being the ARRL and in theory the establishment in Newington only serves the membership. The membership of the ARRL was not really asked to participate in the planning process that would have had a full vetting of the petition as it was being put together.

    What we now have is ARRL members attacking the ARRL because of the petition. Do members really think that they ARE the ARRL? I think not. If they did, why would they attack themselves? The perception seems to be that there is this gated castle in Newington from which pronouncements are issued to the peasantry dwelling outside the gates in the hinterlands. These peasants know their place in the scheme of things and realize that their opinions are not going to change policy even though they are 'encouraged' to contact their elected ARRL representatives over certain issues.

    What this has led to is a wide disconnect between the membership and the hirearchy in Newington. We are seeing this manifested by the way members are reacting to RM-11306 AND the ARRL's reply comments which come off as an in your face repudiation of what you as a member may or may not think of what you think of them.
    Frankly, it is more than a bit arrogant. When the membership attacks the organization that they are members of, it should set off alarms.

    On the other hand the CTT group is just that. A group of hams who got together and created what they thought to be a better proposal. This is different in that the CTT group does not have a membership to answer to and does not otherwise represent anyone except the group itself. The ARRL has magnitudes more responsibility for the petition that was sent to the FCC because they represent (in theory) 150,000+ hams and seem to claim that they represent all of Amateur Radio in the US.

    As I mentioned in anothe post, 10,000 hams took the time to send the FCC 1 original and 8 copies of comments concerning the RM issued for Incentive Licensing. They were overwhelmingly in opposition to the the RM, probably by the same 8/1 margine we are seeing for RM-11306. Presuably, the ARRL had a lot less membership in 1967-68 than it has today because there were only
    36% of the hams we have today and I would think that the ARRL had a larger percentage of total hams as a membership base back then. Logically it should follow that a high percentage of those hams who took the time to comment were ARRL members. They were not seriously listened to then, and the present membership is not being listened to now.

    To paraphrase on oft repeated warning... If we do not learn from history we are doomed to repeat it.

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