The New IARU Region 2 Bandplan:
Mortal Threat to AM and Vintage Radio Operation!
Recently, the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), a confederation of national amateur radio societies, announced its recommended bandplan for mediumwave and HF operation in ITU Region 2 (North America, South America, and neighboring islands). This bandplan took effect on January 1, 2008. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the member society from the United States. While the IARU has modified this bandplan before it took effect on January 1, it is still quite obnoxious for reasons stated below.
The new bandplan totally eliminates conventional AM operation on 160, 15, 17, and 12 meters and provides two narrow segments for AM on 75 meters as a footnote. It is permitted on a segment of the 10 meter band. SSB operators don't get off so easily, either, as the segments recommended for voice or "all modes" limit occupied bandwidth to not more than 2700 Hz. Such a limitation renders much existing radio equipment obsolete. Are you willing to plunk down $3,000 or more for a new radio?
Here is a summary of the new bandplan:
160 meters - no AM.
80 meters - AM in 3600 - 3625 and 3875 - 3900 segments only, 6 kHz. occupied bandwidth.
40 meters - AM allowed as a footnote; calling frequency moves to 7275 kHz.
30 meters - no AM. (AM and other voice modes not allowed now in the United States.)
20 meters - AM allowed as a footnote.
17 meters - no AM.
15 meters - no AM.
12 meters - no AM.
10 meters - AM allowed 29000 - 29300, 6 kHz. occupied bandwidth.
This bandplan reeks of the failed "regulation by bandwidth" petition (RM-11306) filed by the ARRL over a year ago. In the face of overwhelming opposition by the amateur radio community in the United States, the ARRL withdrew this petition, stating that they would "revisit" the issue. Could this new bandplan be their way of "revisiting" RM-11306? Read it for yourself! (Adobe .pdf file) Their next step could be to file a rulemaking petition before the FCC to require U.S. amateur radio operators to follow this bandplan. Kiss your vintage equipment good-bye!
We must voice our opposition to the various IARU representatives and we must do all we can to fight the ARRL, which seems to do a better job of representing the companies that advertise in QST than they do of representing us. If you are an ARRL member, drop your membership, making sure to tell them why you are doing so. Do not buy their publications and tell the companies that advertise in ARRL publications that you will not buy their products until they drop their advertising. Perhaps we should also petition the IARU to decertify the ARRL as the member society of the United States, perhaps substituting the venerable Radio Club of America? For the ARRL never consulted its members (about 21% of all licensed radio amateurs in the United States), nor did they consult the American amateur radio community at large for any input on this bandplan.
Here are the Region 2 officials of the IARU:
Larry E. Price, W4RA
Timothy S. Ellam, VE6SH
David Sumner, K1ZZ
Ramon Santoyo, XE1KK
Secretary, IARU Region 2
When those who claim to represent us refuse to do so, the solution is revolution!