FCC Responds to ARRL Petition Against Experimental License using 40 Meter Band

If you think that there are no longer any threats to our shortwave allocations, read this:

ARLB015 FCC Responds to ARRL Petition Against Experimental License using 40 Meter Band

On Monday, October 20, the ARRL filed a “Petition for Modification or Cancellation of Experimental Authorization” (Petition) with the FCC with respect to WE2XRH. According to the FCC, this experimental license — issued to Digital Aurora Radio Technologies (DART) — proposes to “test digital transmissions in 4.50-5.10 MHz, 7.10-7.60 MHz and 9.25-9.95 MHz for a terrestrial digital radio service to the citizens of Alaska.” The League’s protest was prompted by the certainty that high-power operation in the frequency range 7.10 to 7.30 MHz would cause unacceptable and harmful interference to the Amateur Radio Service in this part of the 40-meter band, which is an exclusive amateur allocation in ITU Region 2 (North and South America).

On October 24, the FCC responded by issuing an amended license that redefined one of the station’s frequency ranges to eliminate conflict with the Amateur Radio Service. The amended license narrows the range to 7.30 to 7.60 MHz and gives as the reason for the change, “operation in the band 7.1-7.3 MHz will cause harmful interference to Amateur Radio Service licensees.”

“We are delighted that the FCC acted so promptly to correct this error and are pleased that the matter has been resolved,” said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ.

My first reaction was, “Who would even propose such a thing, and would Alaskans actually sign up for a radio service like this”? After doing a little Googling, however, I found the article, “Alaskan company to test new shortwave technology.” As it turns out, these experiments are not really for a commercial service at all, but rather for a military application. The article notes:

The company [Digital Aurora Radio Technologies] told FCC that its initial tests would be funded by and conducted for the Defense’s Joint Electromagnetic Technologies program, a classified operation whose mission is to develop technologies for use by special forces and intelligence units. Defense also will supply surplus transmitters from the closed, Cold War-era Over the Horizon Radar, located in Delta Junction.

It sounds like another boondoggle, but who knows?


  1. Maybe Ted Stevens needed some new deck furniture.

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