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FCC “Modernizes” Amateur Radio Service Rules

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules that eliminate transmission rate limitations currently applicable in certain amateur radio bands.

According to a Report and Order issued by the Commission, the new rules replace limitations on the so-called baud rate applicable to data emissions in specific bands, establishing instead a 2.8 kHz bandwidth limitation. The Commission says that the changes are consistent with its treatment of other wireless radio services and will facilitate more efficient operations of amateur radio transmissions, especially in support of emergency response communications.

The action by the FCC won a prompt endorsement by the ARRL, the National Association for Amateur Radio, which acknowledges that the rule changes will also incentivize future innovation and experimentation in amateur radio bands by giving users the flexibility to use modern digital emissions.

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Concurrently, the FCC also adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, seeking comment on a proposal to remove the current baud rate limitations on the VHF and UHF bands and in the 2200-meter and 630-meter bands, as well as recommendations on appropriate limitations in those bandwidths.

Read the FCC’s Report and Order on amateur radio service rules.

Read the ARRL article commenting on the FCC’s action.

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