My Comments on RM-11769, RM-11708, and RM-11759
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of RM-11769 PETITION FOR RULE MAKING; also 11708, 11759
Amendment of Part 97 of the Commission's
Amateur Radio Service Rules to Facilitate
To: The Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
Date: June 9, 2016
From: Janis A. Carson, AB2RA, ExtraClass Amateur Licensee, licensed first as Novice in 1959, General in 1960, and Amateur Extra since 1970.
I request that the FCC dismiss RM-11769 without further consideration, due to the following reasons:
Besides the abundant errors in the Whedbee petition relating to CW operation, both Whedbee and ARRL seek to grant additional license privileges to existing and future Novice and Technician class licensees without additional testing. I disagree with this proposal for the following reasons:
The use of wide bandwidth digital transmissions, particularly in Automatically Controlled Digital store and forward internet email service has been problematic, even under the current regulations. Before FCC extends even more bandwidth and amateur spectrum to this use, FCC needs to address the enforcement problem it presents and solve it before it proliferates to an unmanageable level. My objection to this situation applies to all the referenced rulemaking and petitions referenced in the opening comments.
Firstly, many of the comments filed on RM11708 were submitted by non-amateurs. These comments were promoted by the following site:http://www.sailnet.com/forums/general-discussion-sailing-related/111746-us-citizens-urged-support-fcc-rm-11708-a.html
The comments on that site are an illuminating read; I recommend FCC check it out. The idea for this was to allow licensed amateur operators to send and receive casual messages from vessels. The same Airmail program worked for both commercial Sailmail (fee charged by operators of that system) and some use of amateur radio where appropriate. It turned out that significant amounts of traffic on amateur frequencies was of a commercial nature. The evidence for this does not require an extensive search. It is within FCC's own filings on RM-11708, in a filing by Randal Evans. I quote it here:
The sailing forms are all encouraging us to file comments in support of
RM-11708. This is my first filing and if I mess this up, please see
SailNet Forum at:
I have experienced very dependable service from the amateur radio Internet Winlink system. Its a great service because all of the other available Internet services cost money. Even when I am topside crusing the system runs automatically below deck publishing my position reports and downloading my email. I use the system for sending position reports, ordering supplies, repairs, chatting with friends and posting to facebook. My only complaint is that it needs to be much faster. I am not a amateur radio operator yet but a friend lets me use his call with a SIDD on the end. I hope to get my own ham call soon.
From what I read on the sailing forums, RM-11708 will allow Winlink eMail to run twice as fast. That is great and I am for that. Some of the technical folks are saying that if RM-11708 is published with no bandwidth we can get even faster Internet and might be able to stream movies on the Winlink Internet. I'm for passing RM-11708 into law with no bandwdith limits.
To my knowledge, FCC has not taken any action against this unlicensed operation, nor has it taken action against the amateur operator who has allowed the use of his license and call sign for these purposes, which are clearly being used as a substitute for a commercial service.
Commercial Sailmail costs $200 a year and is legal for business communication.
There are more reliable and cost effective solutions:
Furthermore, there is an existing FCC enforcement ticket #337443 that documents the interference problem presented by current use of wideband ACDS (automatically controlled digital stations) to incumbent Data and CW operations in the amateur bands.
I see no reason for FCC to grant additional bandwidth or frequencies until this problem is resolved successfully. If there is further clarification that FCC can make with regard to containing ACDS to its assigned band segments, I heartily endorse that action. It would go a long way to correcting the underlying issue which connects all of these proposed rulemakings and petitions.
This primarily is happening because a section of the rules, Part 97.219 and 97.221 are misused to conduct such ACDS operations outside the segment assigned to it.This part of the rules needs to be revisited by the FCC and corrected. A "remote base" is actively controlled by a live operator, according to long standing amateur practice. Even a 2 meter FM repeater is actively monitored by a control operator. Anything operating outside of the ACDS sub bands should require a human at the controls, monitoring the operations, and controlling the third party traffic to make sure it is legal to retransmit.
I request that the FCC reject all of the referenced proposals and rulemakings as written until such time as enforcement of existing rules is possible, and a rational system to keep wideband digital operations, in particular ACDS operations, separate from other amateur operations which have managed to coexist peacefully with each other without a lot of intervention by the FCC enforcement actions.
Amateur radio is a technical pursuit, not "Internet CB" or an "APP".
This does not mean that the fight against RM-11708 and RM-11759 has ended. RM-11708 has gone "on circulation" at the FCC. This means that the decision makers are currently considering all the comments which have been filed.
Whedbee admits: "It has generated overwhelmingly negative comments". RM-11769 was so badly researched and stepped on so many toes it was inevitable. Whedbee has filed 141 comments on various issues with the FCC in the recent online data base since 1992. It seems to be a hobby. Some of them wanted to appropriate 70 CM for a robotic device, some of them were various commecial uses under the guise of "experimentation" (which was already dismissed by FCC).
He adds: "I trust the leadership within the Amateur Radio community will consider this engagement an opportunity to reflect upon better utilization of the amateur radio spectrum in view of the multiple billions of dollars worth of spectrum assets amateur radio holds collectively". The leadership, US, the average ham, has spoken. Lets hope this is the end of RM-11305, 11306 (withdrawn by ARRL), RM-11708, RM-11759 and the like, so that we can spend some time enjoying the hobby instead of defending it. When he and the ARRL say things like: "better utilization of the amateur radio spectrum in view of the multiple billions of dollars worth of spectrum assets" it makes me wonder just to whom they want to sell the assets we have worked hard to obtain. The dues I send ARRL for "spectrum defense" seem to be misdirected. Here is his complete withdrawal statement at the FCC site:
NOTICE OF/REQUEST FOR PARTIAL WITHDRAWAL OF PETITION
To the Commission:
This informal request, pursuant to Section 1.41 of the Commission's rules requests withdrawal of and dismissal by the Commission of all of the Petition for Rulemaking, except that part which would authorize RTTY and Data communications on the 50 to 50.1 MHz and 144 to 144.1 MHz subbands within the 6 meter and 2 meter amateur radio bands, respectively. I trust the Commission can modify the operative regulations if it grants this request entirely. As for the rest of the Petition, it has generated overwhelmingly negative comments and reply comments, all of which I have read, respected, and now act upon by withdrawing the remainder of the Petition. I trust the leadership within the Amateur Radio community will consider this engagement an opportunity to reflect upon better utilization of the amateur radio spectrum in view of the multiple billions of dollars worth of spectrum assets amateur radio holds collectively. To that end, I'll close.
/s./ JAMES EDWIN WHEDBEE, N0ECN...17 JUNE 2016...
Janis A Carson, AB2RA, Amateur Extra class licensee
I researched the FCC data base recently, while preparing to file counter comments to the upcoming ARRL petition for license restructuring. Here is the original Report and Order about ten years ago. It dismissed the concept of a new entry level license below Tech. FCC told ARRL that Tech is entry for VHF. General (now No Code) is entry for HF. FCC wants fewer license classes. If anything FCC should ABOLISH renewals of defunct Novice class; upgrade before your expiration, or they will not renew it again. Novice was never intended to be a "permanent" license that could be renewed. It was only one year, then two year, non renewable. It has been ten years for them to upgrade to Tech or General, get it done. See page 10 of the FCC document linked below. FCC and ARRL love "Incentive Licensing". ARRL tried to sneak a Novice→Tech "free upgrade" into RM-11759. Now they are planning a new petition.
This Report and Order also dismissed the ARRL reconsideration request for phone band reduction on 75 meters. FCC told ARRL to turn that big "Dave Sumner Knob" below 3600 to operate ACDS stations. RM-11759 should never have been issued; this time, it should be "dismissed with prejudice", FCC has considered that concept as well before:
In other words, ACDS can turn the big "Dave Sumner Knob" on their VFO to below 3600. IF AND ONLY IF, ALL the ACDS or "ROBOT" stations (regardless of bandwidth) were confined by Part 97 rule revision to between 3600-3635 MHz, I could give grudging support to reduction of the 75 meter Extra phone segment by no more than this amount. But this would have to be the FINAL word of the FCC on this matter.
Clearly, there should be an FCC MORATORIUM on any further frivolous and repetitive petitions tinkering with the HF amateur bands or licensing matters. There was NOTHING NEW to justify revisiting any of these matters in RM-11759 or RM-11769. Perhaps redundant petitions from any person or organization should trigger first a warning, then a suspension of petition filing privileges. I would suggest starting at 6 months, and increasing the period for subsequent offenses.
The quotes above are from: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-06-178A1.pdf