Numerous commenters have told the FCC that a proposal to “modernize” the shortwave band is a threat to amateur radio operators in the United States and possibly the end of ham radio as we know it. And hams are just one source of opposition to the idea.
The FCC inquiry was prompted by a request from the Shortwave Modernization Coalition for a rulemaking to amend the Part 90 rules.
SMC believes there is underutilized spectrum in the high-frequency bands. The coalition wants to use 20 kW transmitters for the transmission of time-sensitive data from fixed stations. It wants the FCC to allow these fixed, long-distance, non-voice communications in multiple bands between 2 MHz and 25 MHz.
Ham opponents worry about interference. One also characterized the coalition as being “packed with special interest groups that harbor little interest in shortwave modernization beyond their own needs to getting faster financial market information.”
The commission’s Office of the Managing Director sought comments on its proposal this summer. The petition, RM-11953, drew more than 800 comments.
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