FCC Grants Temporary Waiver to Permit Higher Symbol Rate Data Transmissions
The ARRL Letter
October 5, 2017
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FCC Grants Temporary Waiver to Permit Higher Symbol Rate Data Transmissions:
The FCC has granted an ARRL request to waive current Amateur Radio
rules to permit data transmissions at a higher symbol rate than
currently permitted, in order to facilitate hurricane relief
communications between the continental US and Puerto Rico. The
temporary waiver is limited to Amateur Radio operators in Puerto Rico
using PACTOR 3 and PACTOR 4 emissions, and to those radio amateurs in
the continental US who are directly involved with HF hurricane relief
communications involving Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands, the
"We conclude that granting the requested waiver is in the public
interest," the FCC said in its October 5 Order
"Hurricane Maria caused massive destruction in Puerto Rico, and
communication services continue to be disrupted. Thus, to accommodate
Amateur Radio operators assisting in the recovery efforts, we grant the
ARRL's waiver request for the period of 60 days from the date of this
ARRL explained in its waiver petition that it's shipping five PACTOR
radio modems to Puerto Rico for use in connection with Hurricane Maria
disaster relief communications. The League asked the FCC to temporarily
allow PACTOR 3 and PACTOR 4 transmissions that exceed the current
symbol rate limitations under § 97.307(f) of the Amateur Service rules.
Under the current rules, "specified digital codes" in Part 97 may be
used with a symbol rate that does not exceed 300 baud for frequencies
below 28 MHz, with the exception of 60 meters, and 1200 baud in the 10
meter band. The baud rate limits were adopted in 1980, when the FCC
amended Part 97 to specify ASCII as a permissible digital code.
The ARRL Letter
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FCC Grants Temporary Waiver to Permit Higher Symbol Rate Dat
by W6EM on October 6, 2017
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BUT..... Neither Pactor 3 nor Pactor 4 are SPECIFIED modes. It is truly a sad day when the FCC doesn't understand the hundreds of comments to that effect in the rulemaking under consideration to eliminate Baud rate restrictions.
It is obvious that the League is trying to force the door open, at the expense of those in dire need of communications.
SCS likely gave them the very expensive modems just to do what they have done with them. Instead of much less expensive competing equipment that will do most all other digital modes.
There are many specified modes available to countless amateurs internationally. OLIVIA and CLOVER are but two examples. And, some NATO STANAG ones as well.
The last thing that should be done in a genuine disaster is to limit communication modes to only the very few who have very expensive SCS Pactor modems. The League has once again pulled the wool over the FCC's eyes.
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