The FCC has turned away a Petition for Rulemaking from a Michigan radio amateur that asked the Commission to amend Section 97.205 of the Amateur Service rules to ensure that repeaters using digital communication protocols do not interfere with analog repeaters. Charles P. Adkins, K8CPA, of Lincoln Park, had specifically requested that discrete analog and digital repeaters be separated either by distance or frequency and that digital repeaters be limited to 10 W output, the FCC recounted in its June 1 denial letter, released over the signature of Scot Stone, the deputy chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Mobility Division. According to the letter, Adkins had characterized digital repeaters as “a major annoyance” to analog repeater operators.
“In 2008, we rejected a suggestion to amend Section 97.205(b) to designate separate spectrum for digital repeaters in order to segregate digital and analog communications,” the FCC said in its letter to Adkins. “We noted that when the Commission has previously addressed the issue of interference between amateur stations engaging in different operating activities, it has declined to revise the rules to limit a frequency segment to one emission type in order to prevent interference to the operating activities of other Amateur Radio Service licensees.”
The FCC told Adkins that current Part 97 rules already address the subject of interference between amateur stations, prohibiting, among other things, willful or malicious interference to any radio communication or signal, and spelling out how interference disputes between repeaters should be handled.