[AMRadio] re: New IARU Bandplan "good amateur practice"

SBJohnston at aol.com SBJohnston at aol.com
Sat Nov 17 12:57:09 EST 2007

My reply to the ARRL President :

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Joel wrote:

> Any band plan, including the IARU Region 2 band plan, is a living document 
> that should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. The ARRL, as always, 
> is open to input for future IARU Region 2 band plan revision proposals from 
> all sources, 

I'm glad to hear that - but why isn't it happening this time?!  Why was the 
bandplan now set to go into effect on January 1, 2008, finished without seeking 
any input?  And when the document was discovered on the IARU Region 2 
website, and I expressed my concerns, ARRL officials acted very defensively and 
"cagey" about it. 

For example, your answer to my question "Should American hams ignore the IARU 
Region 2 bandplan?" was a bit evasive.  You're saying the new plan doesn't 
have any power over US hams, but bandplans represent sent "good amateur 
practice" and so we should follow bandplans.    

Of course I know I can continue to operate as I already do, Joel.  The IARU 
and ARRL have no regulatory authority now.  But I see ample evidence that both 
organizations seek to obtain just that kind of authority in the future.  The 
bandplan document in question says so right in the first paragraph, and the 
IARU and ARRL voted in favor of the new plan.  And in 1998 the ARRL asked the FCC 
for a declaratory ruling that "good amateur practice" means following 
bandplans.  That's pretty clear isn't it?  

So bandplans do matter.  And hams whose present modes and practices are not 
covered in the bandplan will eventually find themselves to be outlaws.  My main 
message is that bandplans should be based on current practice of the hams on 
the bands and a wide range of opinions about future plans.  Not from arbitrary 
decisions made by small committees.

Let me lay it all on the table.  Here is a summary of the actual written 
messages I have so far heard from IARU and ARRL Directors and Officials on this 

IARU Region 2 folks report:

1.  B/C committee member Rinaldo of the ARRL called for the specific mention 
of relatively narrow bandwidth specifications in the new bandplan.  
2.  ARRL says hams need to use narrower bandwidths.

ARRL Directors and Officials have told me:

1.  Yes, ARRL voted in favor of  the new bandplan, and it is a good thing.  
2.  Members who are questioning the League on this issue are ignorant.
3.  The new plan is only voluntary, so don't worry about it.
4.  The new bandplan won't have any impact on operations in the US.
5.  Don't worry, the ARRL doesn't plan to seek FCC regulatory changes on this 
matter for at least two years.
6.  The new bandplan doesn't have any "power" over US hams, and but remember 
we should follow bandplans if we are to be good amateurs.

I'm very disappointed in the League on this issue.  I recently wrote and 
submitted an Op-Ed piece summarizing this whole business to QST.  I hope you will 
help it l be published quickly so at least some information about this issue 
can reach the members.

Steve WD8DAS

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