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FCC Grants Temporary Waiver to Permit Higher Symbol Rate Data Transmissions for Hurricane Ida Traffi

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KF7WIS, Aug 31, 2021.

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  1. KF7WIS

    KF7WIS QRZ CEO QRZ HQ Staff Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    FCC Grants Temporary Waiver to Permit Higher Symbol Rate Data Transmissions for Hurricane Ida Traffic
    The FCC has granted an ARRL emergency request for a temporary waiver intended to facilitate relief communications in the wake of Hurricane Ida. The waiver was orally granted on Saturday, August 28, and immediately permitted amateur data transmissions related to Hurricane Ida traffic to employ a higher symbol rate for data transmissions than the current limit of 300 baud.

    ARRL pointed out in its request that Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) members are working with federal, state, and local emergency management officials to assist with disaster relief. Many use radio modems and personal computers capable of using digital protocols and modes that would permit faster messaging rates than normally permitted under the FCC’s rules. ARRL pointed out that higher data rates can be critical to timely transmission of relief communications, such as lists of needed and distributed supplies.

    In 2016, in response to an ARRL petition for rulemaking, the FCC proposed to remove the symbol rate limitations, which it tentatively concluded had become unnecessary due to advances in modulation techniques and no longer served a useful purpose. That proceeding, WT Docket 16-239, is still pending. ARRL sought the waiver for radio amateurs directly involved with hurricane relief on HF using high-speed data transmissions, and the FCC orally granted the emergency temporary waiver for traffic related to Hurricane Ida. The temporary waiver is good until a written decision is made on ARRL’s request that would cover the remainder of the hurricane season.

    Pursuant to ARRL’s request and similar to written waivers granted by the FCC in earlier years, to qualify, a protocol or mode exceeding the 300 baud symbol rate limit must (1) be publicly documented, (2) use no more bandwidth than the currently permissible slower protocols (generally accepted to be the bandwidth of an SSB signal, or 2.8 kHz), and (3) be used solely for communications related to Hurricane Ida. ARRL is hopeful that the FCC will grant a longer-term waiver this week to enable planning and communications for any additional hurricanes this season.

    *This story was copied from
    K4MID, WD8KDG, M1WML and 1 other person like this.
  2. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    M1WML, AF6SA and K7MHI like this.
  3. K9CTB

    K9CTB Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's really about the usefulness of Winlink and the speed of Pactor IV ... it really *is* a good thing, and imho, kudos to the FCC - remember they've done this for us before. It shows that despite all the different stuff we hams do, we still have "a place at the table" in real-world emergency communications events for those of us who want it. Kind of sweet-and-sour. We surely don't need natural disasters, but we sure need to be useful! Stay useful guys! Do your NIMS courses. They're free!! :) (No, I don't work for SCS, the ARSF, that VARA guy or the Feds and I have no pecu ... pekun ... er ... no MONEY interest in them, honest) ... just a love for ham radio and the goodness in peoples' hearts. :)

    73 de K9CTB
    K4QN, KC1HUR, N2GQ and 2 others like this.
  4. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    NIMS courses are a joke. I find it insanely stupid that the Federal Gov't uses the free NIMS courses as a training requirement. There are many websites that offer all of the answers to every single FEMA course for free and for profit. The system has been compromised.

    But then again, look at radio exams.

    Sorry, back on topic...

    Better efficiency to remain relevant is a good thing.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
    K5MPH and M1WML like this.
  5. N1IPU

    N1IPU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am glad the FCC opened up on this. Now they need to rule on it. As far as signing up forget it. I got chased off long ago between the hoops to jump through and all the self appointed generals. There are some good guys but it's not them that are hard to deal with. If there is an emergency we can deal with it absent the "officials" That's how it was done for decades before badges became a thing.
    KC7HDE, KK9W and M1WML like this.
  6. M1WML

    M1WML Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. K9CTB

    K9CTB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Guess I struck a nerve. Honest people are honest; cheaters cheat. What can you do? Tell you what you can't do. You can't play with the big boys unless you do your homework ... and a green vest and a Baofeng ain't gonna cut it. :)
    M1WML and K5MPH like this.
  8. KK9W

    KK9W Ham Member QRZ Page

    It does strike a nerve, as it should you. Don't you also believe that if the training is so important to have that it should have enough integrity to ensure the person next to you has a grasp of how things operate? Google ain't going to do it when it matters.
    M1WML and K9CTB like this.
  9. K9CTB

    K9CTB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I shouldn't have been so sour, Jon ... that was my bad. But at some point, we should have at least *some* kind of qualification system if we want to step up to the plate and assist. In my jurisdiction (Indiana) we have a couple of issues where some very prominent EMA directors in important counties have clearly said "thanks, but no thanks" to any help from Amateur Radio groups (my primary interest is ARES and RACES) ... I am part of a not-so-effective-yet effort to try to change that. I've spoken to a couple of them. They see amateur radio as some kind of club full of CB-style ratchet-jaws where everybody in the group wants to be a boss! Seriously, it shocked me. I don't know of any other way to do conquer that lack of credibility, except to offer qualified candidates for those teams .... and the only method I see for ticket-punching are the NIMS courses. But to your statement, of course I want integrity in the group. But there's no way we can put all our volunteers through college-level classrooms with exams and grades, before they're qualified to help out. It may not be perfect, but correspondence courses via CBT are as close as we can get for now IMHO
    K4QN, KC8FRP, M1WML and 1 other person like this.
  10. WD8KDG

    WD8KDG Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is not a put down, but the bar has to be raised in several areas. Far too easy to acquire an Amateur Radio license. Another area; the Gov. of Oregon, Kate Brown, suspended the math & reading requirements for HS grads. This will be interesting to get Oregon volunteers through college-level classrooms. Are the other states doing any better? In my neck of the woods some EMCOMM training has started, but the dots don't connect. Fingers are crossed..........................
    M1WML and K9CTB like this.
  11. K7FR

    K7FR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Dang! The cell system didn't stay up? When I lived in Hawaii I had a discussion with a HiEMA cheese and he told me that he really didn't see a need for amateur radio since cell sites all have emergency generators. Fortunately that attitude isn't held by many there. The first Cat 3 hurricane that wanders through the islands will make it so amateur radio is the only communication method left working.
    M1WML likes this.
  12. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why Temporary ?

    I wish they would raise the speeds of my Internet Dial-up modem. :)
    AA5BK, M1WML and K6CLS like this.
  13. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have you tried Winlink?
  14. AA5BK

    AA5BK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Don't know. I had an interest in ARES when I was first received my license. I even drove a considerable distance to attend a club meeting where a representative was speaking.

    Before the meeting I noticed a young gentleman in a suit working the crowd. He was ranting about how great it was that members of the "3 percenters" where being licenced in his state. Turned out he was the guy giving the presentation. It was sad. I later learned that at least one club has video of him doing what he does. Lol.. Not worth my time.

    I think the role of amature radio in disasters came and went years ago. The professionals have it covered as far as communications goes. That does not mean the red cross and other agencies do not need registered volenteers. One does not need a licence to make coffee, to made food runs, or whatever else is needed. They certainly do not need dozens of people showing up with "go boxes", solar arrays, and portable antennas. Lol! D(isasters)OTA activations.

    It's a hobby for me. It is also a means for experimentation. It's also a hobby that can be profitable. I think we need to be more honest with ourselves and our communities. We are not as important as we think we are. To be completely honest, part 97 cannot provide the private and secure communications needed during a disaster in 2021. It never will.
    K9CTB likes this.

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