[AMRadio] ARRL Great Lakes Director on IARU Bandplan

sbjohnston at aol.com sbjohnston at aol.com
Mon Nov 26 22:57:15 EST 2007

Here are some comments from the Great Lakes Division Director, Jim
Weaver K8JE,  regarding the IARU band plan proposal.

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+++ AM Privileges -- Under Attack? +++

Definitely not!

A few members contacted me with questions about the possible impact on
US hams of a bandplan adopted by Region 2 of the International Amateur
Radio Union -- IARU.  The answer to the question is that the Region 2
bandplan has no impact on US hams.

For background, the IARU is the International organization of national
Amateur Radio societies from around the world.  These societies include
the Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC), the Radio Society of Great Britain
(RSGB) and the ARRL.  Region 2 of the IARU covers the Western
hemisphere.  IARU cannot issue legally-binding rules or regulations.

There are three regions in the IARU.  Each of the regions has a
voluntary bandplan.  The Region 1 and Region 3 bandplans preceded the
Region 2 plan.   IARU Region 2 held a conference a few weeks ago.
Among other actions, it adopted its new recommended bandplan during
this conference.

It is critical to understand that this recommended bandplan has
absolutely no relevance to countries such as Canada and the US which
have federal agencies (e.g. the FCC) that define and regulate Amateur
Radio bands.  In addition, IARU bandplans are merely recommendations to
amateurs in countries that do not have such government agencies.  There
is no force of law behind the voluntary bandplans.

The concern of some amateurs seems to be that the FCC will adopt the
Region 2 bandplan; thereby reducing the US's frequency allocation for
AM.  One writer from the GLD said the FCC has previously adopted a
number of practices recommended by the IARU.  To this moment, he has
not responded to my request to identify just which IARU recommended
actions were picked up and adopted by the Commission.  Similarly, a
writer from outside the GLD has accused IARU President Larry Price,
W4RA of a written attempt to manipulate International Treaty to reduce
AM privileges.  To date, he too, has not responded to my request for a
reference to the source of his accusation.

Finally, CQ Magazine has jumped into the fray by accusing ARRL of using
the recent IARU Conference to further regulation by bandwidth.  I enjoy
reading CQ; however, as much as I enjoy reading it I equally strongly
assure you that its editor has gotten caught-up in bad journalism.  The
basis for the editorial appears merely to be ARRL's
publicly-acknowledged support of regulation by bandwidth and the fact
that the Region 2 bandplan specified bandwidths.  This logic is similar
to claiming 1 plus 1 = 6.

The fact is that ARRL did not participate in developing this bandplan.
We had no representation on the bandplan committee.  Could it be that
in reality, the plan was developed in its present form because the
delegates who drafted it believe this is the way it should be and that
there was no dastardly conspiracy after all?  Or is it too hard to
believe in this day of ever-present conspiracy theories is it too much
to expect that some things are done in a fully responsible manner?

The bottom line to this small flurry of concern by some AM colleagues
is that the Region 2 bandplan represents nothing to worry about.  The
IARU has no impact on US FCC regulations . . . the FCC has no apparent
intent to act against AM in the foreseeable future . . . the ARRL has
no thought of recommending the FCC take action against AM . . . and I
will vote against any effort to get ARRL to recommend action against

My recommendation to AM operators is to relax and enjoy your favorite
form of Amateur Radio . . . for a long time.

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