Bulletins from the Pacific Packet Radio Society - page 111

Adopted: September 14, 1982 - Released: September 21, 1982

By the Commission

1. On October 1, 1981 the Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rule Making 1/ in the above-captioned matter proposing to allow amateur radio stations to use digital codes, other than those specified by the Commission, on amateur radio frequencies above 50 MHz. That Notice was in response to a petition for rule making, RM-3788 submitted by the American Radio Relay League, Incorporated (ARRL), which seeks amendment of the Amateur Radio Service Rules (Part 97) to provide for the use of any digital encoding technique in the amateur radio frequency bands above 50 Mhz. Currently, the Rules only permit the use of the International Telegraphic Alphabet Number 2 (Baudot code) and the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII code). The comment period for the Notice ended January 15, 1982 and the reply comment period ended February 15, 1982.

2. In its Notice of Proposed Rule Making, the Commission specifically proposed to permit the transmission of digital codes, other than those defined in the Rules, on all amateur radio frequencies above 50 MHz, with the exception of those frequencies designated for Al emissions only (50.0 - 50.1 MHz and 144.0 - 144.1 MHz). It was also proposed to limit communications using such codes to those between points within areas regulated by the FCC (domestic operation). Requirements that a station licensee include a description of the unspecified digital code in the station records and that the licensee, upon direction of the Commission, cease or restrict the use of the code, or maintain a record of coded communications, were also included in the proposal. In related areas, the Notice proposed to raise the maximum sending speed for ASCII coded communications from 1200 baud to approximately 19.6 kilobaud on amateur radio frequencies between 50 and 225 MHz; but it was also proposed to specify this higher speed, as well as all other sending speeds, in terms of nbits per second." The proposal included bandwidth specifications for transmissions of ASCII coded communications bet we en 50 and 225 MHz, and for all transmissions of communications using unspecified digital codes. Finally, the Commission proposed to allow the use of A1 emissions for the transmission of ASCII coded communications on frequencies between 3.5 and 28 MHz.

3. Virtually all of the comments on the Notice support the Commission's proposal, however many suggest minor modifications. John A. Carroll, in his comments, quotes the following portion of the Commission's Notice: "We believe that the other unspecified digital coding techniques may also lend themselves to digital voice, facsimile, and television communications. As such uses are not currently prohibited by the rules, the Commission does not see a need to restrict these uses for the unspecified digital codes." John A. Carroll's comment

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