Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Your help is needed to help avoid losing our 420-440Mhz band

A bill has been recently introduced which could result in amateurs losing their currently allocated frequencies on the 70cm band (420-440Mhz). The ARRL is asking that folks write to their legislators to oppose the bill in it's current form. The FCC is proposing to auction off certain spectrum for commercial use to replace the spectrum given up in the 700Mhz band (formerly used for analog TV) to help make up for the loss of commercial revenue in those bands. The spectrum slated for auction is supposed to be existing Public Safety spectrum (since the 700Mhz block went to Public Safety), but the Amateur allocations appear to have been incorrectly bundled in with those from Public Safety. You can read more about this issue at the ARRL website here and you can read how to help here. Please note that they strongly recommend sending letters to their legislative consultants who will hand-deliver them to Congress due to extensive delays in postal mail screening to members of Congress.

Apologies to those of you outside the US who are reading this US-specific posting.


  1. No need to apologize - it's a reminder to all of us just how vulnerable our occupation of some frequencies really is in an age where everything seems to revolve around money.

  2. Hi David! I sent my letter this morning via http://www.congress.org website. I simply copied the sample letter available on the ARRL website at http://www.arrl.org/sample-letters and edited it with my info, then copied and pasted the edited letter into a send letter form available at congress.org.They also have your representatives address info easily available on their website. After that all you have to do is click send and it it sent to your representative. Very easy to do and only takes a few minutes. I urge anyone else reading your post to do likewise! Thanks for posting this and very 73 de Cliff KU4GW

  3. Hi Cliff -- You might want to check the notes on the ARRL sites. They say that emails sent to congress carry less weight than regular "snail mail", and the problem with USPS mail is that it can take 6-8 weeks to get delivered after screening. That's why they've strongly recommended using their legislative consultants, who will hand-deliver the mail. I faxed my letter to them which cost me the same as email since I have unlimited domestic long-distance calling.

  4. Send a fax. It still shows up as paper in their office, and they know what to do with paper. Plus, in these days of unlimited long distance telephone service, it is cheaper and faster to fax!

    As far as "legislative consultants" go, I say phooey! on all lobbyists, whether they stand for my issues or not. Lobbying is a large part of what is wrong in Washington.