Congressional task force to study government's wireless spectrum use

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GrumpyGuard

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A House of Representatives task force was formed to see how the federal government can use its wireless spectrum more efficiently to free up excess airwaves for consumer services.
CNET News
 

reedeb

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Oh yes These folks will listen to the "Communications dealers" make a plan to rip off more from the little people. I expect to see whole swaths of Ham radio spectrums taken over and many new ways for the great companies [as well as our great leaders] profit more.
 
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mm

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With the existing govt. involved my prediction is that they will have such a wide range of frequencies which will be stolen from other users and cobbled together in a disorganized mess that no mfg will be able to make any subscriber units that can cover all of the frequencies in a small enough package with a battery that lasts long enough.
 

902

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Oh yes These folks will listen to the "Communications dealers" make a plan to rip off more from the little people. I expect to see whole swaths of Ham radio spectrums taken over and many new ways for the great companies [as well as our great leaders] profit more.
The actual dealers have little power or authority. Manufacturers, and network operators, on the other hand, do, and billions of dollars are thrown at lobbying Congress all the way down to local governments in order to grease the wheel, so to speak.

As a ham of 34 years, I can say that there are only a couple of things saving amateur radio:

1) We tend to be older, vote with a sense of duty (not always for the right thing, but hey...), and not afraid to contact our Congressional Representatives - respectfully, but repetitively - when they come up with a real boner of an idea;

2) Ham radio is secondary in most places. We stand in the shadow of our big brothers, the plenary authority of the ITU as it administers spectrum usage for Region II of the world (although the US can modify the plan to an extent), the DOD and NTIA (no one wants broadband that goes away during Fleet Week);

3) Sometimes our spectrum is junk. Much of it is shared with industrial, scientific, and medical devices which are broadband noise emitters. You can't reliably surf the net when the heater in the Nacho Grande machine is using the same frequency band to toast tacos.

We're walking on razor blades as long as those are the thin lines that protect amateur radio.

I wish that this be settled once and for all. Hear me out because this is radical: take amateur radio away from the FCC. Declare it primary on various HF, VHF, UHF, and microwave bands. Give amateur radio to the Department of the Interior, National Park Service (this takes it away from Congress, the DOI is an Executive branch agency). Declare amateur radio to be a virtual national park of preserved spectrum which cannot be encroached upon. Have the NPS license amateur operators in cooperation with the NTIA (another Executive branch agency). After all, you can get a permit or license to camp or fish in a national park, you can get a license to use your radio in the national spectrum park. Aside from that, the best thing a ham can do is be respectful and engaged, and keep his or her hobby relevant.

You all don't know how many snatch and grab attempts there have been on spectrum just in the last year - at times by fellow hams who probably should be drummed out like the opening theme in Branded, and its not going to stop.
 

Jimru

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Hi all,

I may get some flak for this, but if you are a ham, it pays to join or at least donate to the ARRL.

If you don't want to join, consider at least contributing to their "Spectrum Defense Fund":

http://www.arrl.org/

Are they perfect? No, but in my humble opinion, they are the best we have as an organized force to counteract spectrum grabs. In addition, I also contact my various local, state and federal reps when an issue comes up.

The idea of changing the jurisdiction from the FCC to something in the executive branch of the US gummint is VERY interesting!

73,
Jim
 

gewecke

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"I may get some flak for this, but if you are a ham, it pays to join or at least donate to the ARRL."

Ya think so? The ARRL is a bunch of modern day gangsters!! Nope, I don't see them getting my $$! ;)

73,
n9zas
 

Jimru

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What makes you say that? I'm genuinely curious. I read QST cover to cover every month and I don't see anything in there that would cause that kind of reaction. I fully get that as a large and long-lived organization, there are going to be issues that come up that are going to ruffle feathers here and there, but that's a very strong reaction on your part, so something must have happened to you directly to cause you to say that.

This could be an entire thread of it's own!

73,
Jim


"I may get some flak for this, but if you are a ham, it pays to join or at least donate to the ARRL."

Ya think so? The ARRL is a bunch of modern day gangsters!! Nope, I don't see them getting my $$! ;)

73,
n9zas[/QUOTE]
 
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DaveNF2G

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...and it probably should continue as such in the Amateur Radio General Discussion Forum.

Just a quibble with the above suggestion about NPS (which I like). The FCC is also an Executive Branch agency. The limiting factor to the power or independence of such an agency is that Congress has the sole constitutional authority to raise and spend money. FCC, NPS, and the rest of the DC alphabet soup are "answerable" to Congress because that is who writes the checks.

I'n not sure that this is what the Founders had in mind when they envisioned a system of "checks and balances," but it works, sort of.
 

902

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...and it probably should continue as such in the Amateur Radio General Discussion Forum.

Just a quibble with the above suggestion about NPS (which I like). The FCC is also an Executive Branch agency. The limiting factor to the power or independence of such an agency is that Congress has the sole constitutional authority to raise and spend money. FCC, NPS, and the rest of the DC alphabet soup are "answerable" to Congress because that is who writes the checks.

I'n not sure that this is what the Founders had in mind when they envisioned a system of "checks and balances," but it works, sort of.
Actually, Dave, the FCC is not an Executive Branch department Federal Executive Branch | USA.gov, it's an independent agency of the federal government. I can't imagine Julius Genachowski in the line of succession.

As for amateur radio and the ARRL, I've been a member on and off for many years. I've also donated to the Spectrum Defense Fund. Like any other member-driven organization, you can mold it to your vision IF you: 1) get active in the organization; and 2) have a vision. Absent that, you go for the ride that more vocal people take you on.

This should not be a "ham radio discussion." This is a spectrum management issue, and it seems that ham radio is always the low hanging fruit. If it were not for the hundreds of cranky older hams who called their Representatives' offices, there would probably be a sizeable chunk of 70 cm. gone by now. I agree with Warren, Congress is the least qualified to make those kinds of decisions. Look at the boner of a decision on trading 36 MHz of T-Band in the most densly populated and licensed regions of the US for 10 MHz of D-Block. It might not have stung so much if they had a strategy, but today's Congress is a reap-the-moment bunch (in my view, at least).

Probably the epilogue to this is: whatever it your view, vote. Never fail to let the people you put in to represent you know (in a respectful manner, of course) that they work for you, not the other way around.
 
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DaveNF2G

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I stand corrected about the FCC's status. I was thinking about the Executive Branch's duty to "faithfully carry out" the laws passed by Congress, which is what the FCC should be doing, but I was also recalling that at some point the Commission (or its predecessor) was part of the Department of Commerce, which is a Cabinet-level Executive Branch department.
 

902

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I stand corrected about the FCC's status. I was thinking about the Executive Branch's duty to "faithfully carry out" the laws passed by Congress, which is what the FCC should be doing, but I was also recalling that at some point the Commission (or its predecessor) was part of the Department of Commerce, which is a Cabinet-level Executive Branch department.
You have a great knowledge of radio history, Dave. Much of the rules that don't seem to make much sense today stem from the protection of commercial broadcasting in the 30s, when merchants operated their own radio stations to promote their products. The Federal Radio Commission was the first step away from Commerce back in the 20s. The NTIA is still part of the DOC.
 
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