RM-11843: REC proposes new amateur allocation at 40 MHz to encourage transatlantic experimentation
Today, the FCC has assigned a rulemaking (RM) number to a Petition for Rulemaking filed by REC Networks, through its founder, Michelle Bradley, KU3N as RM-11843.
This petition calls on the Commission to work with the National Telecommunications and Information Aministration (NTIA) to allow for amateur radio operations in the 8-meter band. This petition was in response to activities taking place in ITU Region 1 where more administrations are starting to authorize very limited operation on 8 meters. Ireland, Slovenia and South Africa have already granted amateurs regular access to all or portions of the band being asked for in the petition. In fact, ComReg, the Irish regulator has even gone far enough to allocate virtually the entire VHF low band (30~49 MHz) for amateur radio use.
In the petition, REC/KU3N notes that this spectrum could be used for weak signal experimentation and general amateur use primarily along transatlantic paths using CW, SSB and digital modes such as FT8 and digital voice. As no radios are currently manufactured for this band, it could encourage "makers" to design new equipment and antenna design. REC/KU3N predicts low usage of this band except during scheduled activities such as Field Day and contests as well as periods of sporadic-E, high sunspot numbers and other periods with a higher maximum usable frequency.
In the petition, REC/KU3N is asking to use 40.51 to 40.70 MHz, allowing beacons, prohibiting repeaters and discouraging FM operation.
This spectrum is currently used by the Federal Government as part of an older channelized land mobile radio system, mainly by the Department of Agriculture for national forests and parks. It is also used for federal and non-federal telemetry and wildlife tracking. The spectrum is also sporadically used by the military for short-range communication. Industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) devices also operate in the 40.66 to 40.70 MHz area. REC/KU3N notes that this spectrum would be of most interest to those who wish to conduct transatlantic experimentation and thus will have more amateur activity in the eastern USA where it is likely that federal use of this spectrum is more likely in the western USA.
Comments on this petition will be accepted by the FCC through their Electronic Comment Filing System until July 26, 2019. Select proceeding RM-11843.
A copy of the petition can be found at the following URL:
Questions and media inquiries should be directed to REC Networks at our Contact REC form.
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