Conference to Discuss 5 MHz Allocation for Hams
A proposed new, secondary
allocation to the amateur service is among agenda items for the World
Radiocommunication Conference in 2015.
While WRC-15 may
seem far away, planning is getting underway. These conferences are held by the
International Telecommunication Union every few years to talk about
international radio regulations. An FCC advisory group will start to meet in
August in preparation for the next one. The commission also has set up a website with information about WRC-15.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration
coordinates U.S. participation, though a number of government departments and
agencies are involved. According to NTIA’s website, “The next conference will
consider spectrum requirements for uses ranging from mobile service allocations
for broadband applications to controlling unmanned aircraft from space.”
It stated that in 2012, “The U.S. was successful in achieving
an agenda item for potential new mobile broadband spectrum to support the president’s
500 MHz Initiative.” Expanded wireless broadband access, it said, will trigger
creation of innovative new businesses and bring other benefits. NTIA expects
that next time, “a great deal of focus will be given to this agenda item to
ensure U.S. manufacturers have sufficient harmonized international spectrum to
realize economies of scale for emerging technologies.”
are numerous items on the 2015 agenda,
as spelled out at the end of the 2012 conference. One is the proposal to consider
“possible new allocation to the amateur service on a secondary basis within the
band 5250–5450 kHz.” The International Amateur Radio Union has described
the reasons for a secondary amateur allocation at 5 MHz (read it here, PDF); Wikipedia has more background on the 60 meter or 5 MHz band.
Another item of interest on the WRC15 agenda is “the feasibility of
achieving a continuous reference time-scale, whether by the modification of
coordinated universal time (UTC) or some other method.” A good article that
puts that discussion in context is “Are
We Having a Good Time?” published by SPIE, a society that deals with optics and light.