The following message is n behalf of the AM Forum team at amfone.net, reprinted here as a courtesy and to get their message out.
Please take a few minutes to consider what follows — some concerns a number of us have recently identified that are related to a suggested HF band plan coming from a group of volunteers known as the International Amateur Radio Union. This plan takes effect in January.
I would ask that you endorse and express these concerns yourself in an email to some of the key people in the IARU, some of whom have kindly offered to revise their plan in acknowledgment of the healthy and growing presence of AM activity on HF.
The following is a letter outlining these concerns that you may adapt in your own words, or simply incorporate as written in an email under your signature.
Thank you for taking the time. Amending proposals such as this will help preclude any regulatory moves in the future that could cause problems for AM operations. Achieving positive change will also allow the AM Community to support the IARU’s voluntary plan, which is not possible as it is now written.
Thank you for your consideration.
Paul Courson WA3VJB
AMfone – amfone.net
The AM Forum Team
Suggested recipient list to express concern:
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
Optionally, you may also wish to copy some of the ARRL people responsible for representing U.S. licensees at the IARU and IARU Region 2 matters:
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
And even further down the list, possibly copy your ARRL Division representatives as shown at http://www.arrl.org/divisions/
REQUEST TO AMEND THE IARU Region 2 BAND PLAN
Effective Jan, 2008
To: Delegates and representatives, International Amateur Radio Union
From: Concerned amateur licensee
(ADD your name, and call)
(ADD callbook hometown, email address)
Subject: Region 2 Band Plan
A substantial group of active licensees in the amateur community faces problems because of the Region 2 Band Plan developed at September’s IARU meeting in Brazil. Please consider additional revisions to this plan before it is implemented so that it may win significant support from those of us who enjoy using Amplitude Modulation on the HF bands.
“AMers” have a long and successful leadership role in coordinating our operations to minimize friction with incompatible modes and activities. The Region 2 plan fails to acknowledge this leadership as it imposes a bandwidth specification that would be impossible for us to meet.
Government regulatory agencies throughout Region 2 have supported a variety of “phone” modes while avoiding or not emphasizing an enumeration of bandwidth.
The U.S., where the numerically largest stronghold of AM activity exists, deliberately encourages such activity by instead mandating a technically clean signal, and imposing on operators a requirement to minimize the chance for interference.
There have been no documented complaints against AM activity based on unreasonable bandwidth, according to Federal Communications Commission enforcement counsel Riley Hollingsworth.
The system that does NOT use a bandwidth method to coordinate activities is prevalent throughout Region 2. It has worked well and has widespread acceptance as part of an otherwise voluntary layout of where such operations are situated.
The IARU voluntary band plan for Region 2 would be at odds with regulations in the area’s major countries including the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Yet the plan can still win the support of AMers by simply deleting the numerical bandwidth specification, and including us among the other modes and activities you list in the main table.
It is unfair and risky to place AM operations as a “footnote” to the table, as now written, since the IARU president, Larry Price, has made it clear he wishes to discourage footnotes among the various regional plans he oversees. Such a placement unwittingly portrays AM as an otherwise non-compliant mode. The preamble to the Region 2 plan encourages IARU member societies to lobby government regulators to formally adopt the plan’s provisions.
The combination of AM’s placement and the regulatory advocacy accompanying the plan represents a direct threat to AM that the IARU may not have intended to convey. Come January you would be suggesting limits that are more severe than regulations from the governments in the region. This, at a time the IARU has traditionally encouraged the least restrictive environment. Please return to that approach so that active and concerned licensees can make the most of the spectrum allocated to amateurs for hobbyist and volunteer emergency use.
Please revise the Region 2 plan to avoid numerical bandwidth specifications, and instead list generalized references to a signal’s footprint. The terms “large,” “medium,” and “small” bandwidth utilization nicely provide a mnemonic that supports existing patterns of operating we all wish to promote. Avoiding numerical references further supports the coordination of new modes that may come from the category of digital communications.
It would be unfortunate for the IARU to seek to impose an operating strategy that spurns a popular part of the hobby, that of using AM in a vintage, nostalgic environment of storytelling and technical pursuit. One of the U.S. clubs, the American Radio Relay League, recently conducted a survey among several regions that found nearly 20 percent of subscribers include AM as among their operating activities on HF. These numbers exceed those of “digital” buffs and several other activities you now recognize in the main table of your bandplan.
AMers have done nothing to warrant being relegated to the status of a footnote, nor to have our leadership overlooked in the voluntary coordination of our activities that has long been recognized and praised on the bands.
Please respond with your thoughts on actions you can quickly take to revise the Region 2 plan before it is implemented to bring it into compliance with how AM is accepted and viewed in the countries hoping to support your plan.
(ADD your name/call)