The FCC has adopted new rules to encourage development of new communication technologies and expedite the deployment of new services above 95 GHz. The action was the latest move in the Commission’s “Spectrum Horizons” branded initiative.
“This spectrum has long been considered the outermost horizon of the usable spectrum range, but rapid advancements in radio technology have made these bands especially ripe for new development,” the FCC said in announcing the March 15 move.
Prior to its “historic” decision last week, the FCC had no rules for authorizing communication above 95 GHz other than by radio amateurs or through experimental operations. Under current rules, specific Amateur Radio allocations exist at 122.25 – 123.00 GHz; 134 – 141 GHz; 241 – 250 GHz, and at frequencies above 300 GHz, and limited experimentation has taken place in this region of the radio spectrum. Among radio amateurs active in that region of the spectrum is Brian Justin, WA1ZMS, in Virginia — who has made at least one contact on every available Amateur Radio band. He earned the first-ever ARRL VUCC awards for 122 GHz, 134 GHz, and 241 GHz, and even went so far as to make the first contact on a less-than-1-millimeter band, 322 GHz. “Many world DX records were made as well along the way,” he said last spring. “The most rewarding one for me was 114 kilometers [about 71 miles] on 241 GHz.”