FCC Makes Sweeping Rules Changes

Last week, the ARRL reported that they would “press” the FCC to release the “Omnibus” Amateur Radio Report and Order. Well, yesterday they got their wish. The executive summary of R&O FCC 06-149 states:

In this R&O, we amend the Part 97 Amateur Radio Service rules as follows:

  • revise the operating privileges of amateur radio operators to allow more spectrum in four currently-authorized amateur service HF bands to be used for voice communications;
  • permit auxiliary stations to transmit on additional amateur service bands;
  • permit amateur stations to transmit spread spectrum communications on the 1.25 meter (m) band;
  • permit amateur stations to retransmit communications from the International Space Station;
  • permit amateur service licensees to designate the amateur radio club to receive their call sign in memoriam;
  • prohibit an applicant from filing more than one application for a specific vanity call
    sign;
  • eliminate certain restrictions on equipment manufacturers that are no longer
    necessary;
  • permit amateur radio stations operating in Alaska and surrounding waters more
    flexibility in providing emergency communications; and
  • remove certain restrictions in the amateur service license examination system that are no longer necessary.

One item that will affect those of us who operate HF is that most of the Novice bands has been re-allocated to phone operation. The full, 45-page Report and Order is available online on the FCC website.

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