Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Will hams lose two meters?

That is the question, and the answer will come at this year's WARC-19 and the future WARC-23. The re-allocation of the entire two meter band was not widely opposed at a European meeting, when France brought up a Thales proposal to use it for some kind of commercial airband cellular service.

As we know only too well, governments consider corporations to be more important than people, and they make their decisions accordingly. At some point, however, someone's got to raise a stink.  I probably join most of the readers here in going WTF at the prospect that ham radio would lose what's probably its most popular band.

Amateur groups are expected to fight this tooth and nail.

From DF2ZC, DARC Frequency Manager:

If this proposal in its current version is endorsed at the next meeting of the CEPT Conference Preparatory Group in August it is highly likely that it will appear on the agendas of WRC-19 and WRC-23 where a final decision will be made. At least 10 of the 48 CEPT countries have to be in favour of this proposal while not more than 6 must be against this.

During the recent Meeting of the CEPT Project Team A in Prague this proposal by France was being discussed for the first time. Only the German delegation made it clear that they are against this proposal including 144-146 MHz.  [That's as high as it goes in Europe. The frequency range in question would include the whole band worldwide. -Hugh]

The main reason for that little opposition might be that the 2 m band was included in the revised version of that French proposal only few days before the deadline for the Prague meeting. Consequently most other European countries had no time for internal discussions let alone formulating their position.

IARU, being supported by regulatory experts of their member associations (RSGB, DARC, VERON etc) is intensively working on executing their influence within the current process and trying to keep the 2 m band as it is now. By the way, the cost of this activities is covered by the funds resulting from the contributions of the IARU member societies. So those who left their county's amateur radio society should perhaps reconsider their decision. Without the commitment and the funds the amateur radio community would have little influence in that process, let alone could be present at the relevant meetings.

Most importantly, amateur radio should speak with a single voice only. So I would like to ask everybody to refrain from using maybe good personal contacts to your government or the EU. This would weaken our position and take away power and vigour from the systematic approach by IARU and country amateur radio societies. This particularly applies for online petitions in the WWW, which by the way do not even base on a correct facts background.