|[AMRadio] More from Central Division Director|
SBJohnston at aol.com
SBJohnston at aol.com
Sat Nov 10 00:23:53 EST 2007
I just received a further clarification and apology from the ARRL Central
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9 NOV 2007 - 1505 CDT
Steven B. Johnston, WD8DAS
Dear Mr. Johnston,
Thank you for writing to me twice about the recently approved IARU Region 2
Band Plan. I have been slow in responding to your messages because of
coincidental bad timing. Your two emails and a very few others (current
total of 24) on this issue, along with approximately 300 other unrelated
emails arrived during time period when I was planning for and recovering
from a minor outpatient surgical procedure the past two weeks. I mention
this only to explain my slow response.
Also, when a given issue appears to be generating some controversy, I like
to wait until I have a reasonable reading on the issue and the emails
I have received. For routine ARRL items, I try to respond within 48
hours, if I am
at home. Now to get down to business...
I admit I should have used neutral, less inflammatory words in my
last email posting to the entire Central Division and for this
apologize to you.
However, I stand by the content of my message because:
1. The Region 2 IARU band plan is only advisory and has no effect on our
current U.S. Amateur Radio Service HF band plan. The primary intent of
this document is to provide guidance to Region 2 amateur radio societies
in countries that have little or nothing in the way of a band plan. How
hams in other parts of the world operate effect us and vice versa. And
regardless of your or my personal views on band plans, we would have
chaos without band plan regulations.
2. There are hams in the U.S. (and other parts of the world) who fear any
real or perceived change in the status quo. Regardless of my poor
description of these people, it does not change the fact that they exist
and that a very few of them are very quick to publicly take offense.
Those who fall into this category seldom accept all the facts about the
issue, or issues that have caused them to speak out. At best, they
pick the facts that support their viewpoint. The phrase in my mind that
best describes this situation is, "Don't confuse me with the facts
my mind is already made up."
The people I described in #2 certainly have the right to speak out
and I was wrong in my choice of descriptive words in my last division
But I wish individuals who accept at face value what is being said by
these people would do their own independent fact-checking. I'm
skeptical about a
lot of what is said and published about controversial issues, both
within and outside of amateur radio, until I have done my own
homework. My wife says I
am too suspicious, but this characteristic contributed to my
longevity as a military and then as a civilian professional
pilot. And in retirement, it's still my frame of reference.
This skepticism first had me opposing regulation by bandwidth when it
gained serious consideration by the ARRL board. It took me about a
year to finally understand the rationale for it and to then make sure
that no existing HF
users would be shut out in the proposal.
The concept of regulation by bandwidth was developed via informal FCC-ARRL
staff discussions over several years before I arrived on the ARRL board in
2001. When (orthogonal?) modulation systems started showing up that
legally allow wide-band signals in narrow (non-voice) HF sub-bands,
work on a band- width regulation proposal was formalized by board
resolution about 18 months after my arrival. I believe Winlink 2000
is the first operating mode to use this modulation system.
With the withdrawal of the ARRL's regulation by bandwidth proposal
this past February, this situation will get worse. The only real
impediment to further Winlink 2000 use is the very high cost of the
proprietary modem. Eventually, this cost will come down. I'm not
opposed to any operating mode including Winlink 2000. But I'm
opposed to it's use in our narrow-band sub-bands.
Under our current Part 97 Regulations, it is legal there.
I seriously doubt if another regulation by bandwidth proposal will be put
forth by the ARRL board in the near future. We failed to educate the
U.S. amateur radio community about the history of and rationale for
our first proposal, and to make sure nearly everyone understood how
it would work. The ARRL board of directors has to do it's homework
if we want to have regulation by bandwidth accepted by the U.S.
amateur radio community.
I support amateur radio HF regulation by bandwidth. However, I will
not support an effort to rush another proposal to the FCC. I have no idea
long this educational process will take. But I currently believe
anything shorter than two years from 1 JAN 2008 will fail.
- George R. Isely, W9GIG
ARRL Central Div. Director
St. Charles, IL
w9gig at arrl.org
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