Frequencies Question?

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KE0SKN

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Ok the way I understand things with the frequencies band plan is that business with deep pockets can buy there way to getting more frequencies from the FCC for cell phones and other devices. for exp: Nextel buy out a good chunk of the 800mhz and made the public safety people move to other frequencies. Now some other air head want to kill the TV frequencies now. My main question is now is. What protect our frequencies as ham operators from these big wigs?
 

robertmac

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Ham clubs/orgs

Such as ARRL, RAC, IARU, and many other organizations throughout the world. Does help to be members of these organizations.
 

newsphotog

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Ok the way I understand things with the frequencies band plan is that business with deep pockets can buy there way to getting more frequencies from the FCC for cell phones and other devices. for exp: Nextel buy out a good chunk of the 800mhz and made the public safety people move to other frequencies. Now some other air head want to kill the TV frequencies now. My main question is now is. What protect our frequencies as ham operators from these big wigs?
You should read up about the 1.25-meter band allocation -- 1.25-meter band - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia -- it is a real wake-up call to amateur radio. Our spectrum can be taken away from us and given to a corporate interest with money. Utilize all bands! Use what's left of 220 MHz, 902 MHz, and 1.2 GHz! Use it or lose it!

We are living in a wireless-emphasized society today, where each part of the spectrum is valuable. Our spectrum through all the bands are worth billions of dollars.

In addition to joining the ARRL, they also have a separate "spectrum defense fund" that people can donate to go directly towards protecting our spectrum through lobbying on Capitol Hill and other legal means. I think in recent history, the ARRL has done a fine job of protecting our space.
 

AK9R

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Nextel buy out a good chunk of the 800mhz and made the public safety people move to other frequencies.
That's not quite the way it worked. In the beginning, the FCC created a service called Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) that was intended to be used for shared dispatch radio systems marketed towards businesses. The frequencies assigned to SMR were adjacent to the frequencies in the 800 MHz band that the FCC had assigned to Public Safety. Nextel latched on to Motorola's iDen technology and started buying up SMR licenses around the country so they could launch their service originally as a universal push-to-talk radio service for businesses. Nextel then got FCC approval to attach their iDen systems to the public telephone network and start offering telephone service to their subscribers. At that point, they become a cell phone provider, not a two-way radio service.

But the problem was that their frequencies were adjacent to public safety and their towers were interfering with public safety communications. So, after many years of back-and-forth between the FCC and Nextel, an agreement was struck where Nextel would pay public safety agencies to move to a different block of frequencies in the 800 MHz band. In exchange, Nextel (now Sprint) got access to some spectrum at 1.4 GHz, I believe. So, you can say that Nextel bought out a chunk of 800 MHz and made public safety move, but it was actually a punitive arrangement where Nextel was paying a price for causing a problem. The alternative would have been for the FCC to fine Nextel for causing interference.

You should read up about the 1.25-meter band allocation it is a real wake-up call to amateur radio.
Some hams like to point at this situation as a loss for amateur radio, but I look at it differently. When we had 220-225 MHz, we were a secondary allocation in that band. In other words, we had accept interference from the primary licensees and we could not interfere with the primary licensees. This band was not exclusive to amateur radio. Now that we have 222-225 MHz, we are the primary allocation. We gave up 2 MHz of secondary allocation to get 3 MHz of primary allocation.
 

elk2370bruce

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If you may recall, 11 meters was once part of the amateur radio spectrum (up to the late 50s). Due to low utilization (plus lobbying by manufacturers) we lost that segment to the chicken banders. While we still have 1.25 meter primary allocation, this resource is, in many areas of the country, under-utilized and only Alinco and JetStream are the principle producers of 1.25 meter transceivers. Most of the action, where there is any, is normally repeaters above 224 MHz. If we do not utilize our resources, other services will make a move to grab a chunk. 220 can be a great (and magic) band to play with. Like Forrest Gump said, "You never know what you're gonna get.
 

W9NES

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I would recomend that we all as Ham Radio Operators use the 220Mhz Band.I am running a Friday Night Net on the Indianapolis 224.980 repeater and cross linking it with 443.250Repeater.Some people have 220, some people have 440.Either way if you have one of the radios you can check in on the net.If you have a 220Mhz rig find your local repeter and start using it to keep the band active or start a local net thru the week or on a weekend.You never know how many checkins you are going to get from others that have 220Mhz radios that have not been active in years.
 

AK9R

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well this is one reason I asked this question.
Note that that article is almost 15 years old. I'm not saying that the situation is better or worse now compared to back then, but...

To answer your original question, what protects us from business interests laying claim to the ham bands is continued efforts on our part to demonstrate the value of amateur radio to society. If we don't participate in public service events, don't volunteer to help during disasters and emergencies, use foul language and hate speech on the air, and try to make a profit with our transmissions, then our perceived value to society will be reduced.
 
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zz0468

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My main question is now is. What protect our frequencies as ham operators from these big wigs?
The protections (or lack, therein) depend on the specific band you're talking about. In some cases, it's an international allocation, and requires international agreements to change their usage. In other cases, the band may be allocated to the military or federal government, and are not really the FCC's allocations to give away.

And in some cases, it's pure dumb luck that allows us to keep some frequencies. Dumb luck may be the fact that a particular frequency range has no current value to a new technology. Or, the dumb luck may be the fact that the allocation is shared with heavily used Part 15 services that are impractical to reallocate to commercial services.

All of the above is subject to change, somewhere along the line, so what's protected now, may not be in ten years. Ten years or so ago, the 2m band was threatened by a commercial satellite service. If I recall correctly, that never happened because of the international nature of at least part of the allocation. More dumb luck.
 

newsphotog

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Some hams like to point at this situation as a loss for amateur radio, but I look at it differently. When we had 220-225 MHz, we were a secondary allocation in that band. In other words, we had accept interference from the primary licensees and we could not interfere with the primary licensees. This band was not exclusive to amateur radio. Now that we have 222-225 MHz, we are the primary allocation. We gave up 2 MHz of secondary allocation to get 3 MHz of primary allocation.
We may have been a secondary service in that band prior to the UPS proposal, but it was still lost bandwidth when all was said and done. What else was in that section of 220 before we were given primary privileges? In 902 MHz we are also given secondary privileges but really the only other users that I'm aware of are some early-model cordless phones and those eXRS FHSS radios. But we still use that spectrum, and if we lose any of that, it's still lost spectrum to the amateur radio community.
 
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