Tag Archives: FCC

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai questioned about pirate enforcement

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

(Source: Tom Taylor Now newsletter)

FCC staff will be “cops on the beat” against pirates.

Chairman Ajit Pai had his stats ready for yesterday’s House Oversight Hearing – the FCC’s issued 39 NOUOs (Notice of Unlicensed Operation) this year, among other enforcement actions. Pai knew the question about the effect of closing of 11 field offices was coming from somewhere, and it was posed by Tampa-area Republican Rep. Gus Bilirakis. Pai says as a Commissioner, “I had substantial disagreements with the original” plan of then-Chair Tom Wheeler. The compromise worked out with Congress included closing the Tampa field office – but Pai says the Commission’s doing its best to address the pirate problem that is “a problem all across the East coast.” That when he says the staff is determined to be “cops on the beat” against unlicensed operators. That seemed to satisfy Bilirakis. More from the hearing – there’s support for a new minority tax certificate plan. It would incentivize an owner to sell to a qualified minority by offering a tax break or deferral. And we haven’t mentioned the #1 complaint around telecom – doing something to choke off robocalls and “spoof calls.”

Check out the full Tom Taylor Now newsletter which also includes questions posed to Chairman Pai, about defining Net Neutrality.

FCC: Expanded use of marine HF frequencies on land

Many thanks to an SWLing Post contributor who shares a link to the following public notice from the FCC:

Wireless telecommunications bureau seeks comment on request by Shipcom, LLC, and Global HF net, LLC, to allow use of high seas marine frequencies by first responders and federal agencies during disasters

Section 80.123 of the Commission’s rules permits very high frequency public coast stations to provide service to units on land under certain conditions, but does not allow high frequency (HF) public coast stations to provide such service. In 2010, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Mobility Division (Division) granted Shipcom, LLC (Shipcom), a waiver of section 80.123 to permit the use of HF public coast frequencies by first responders during catastrophic situations when normal communications systems are not available. The Division concluded that this limited use of HF maritime spectrum would enhance public safety during catastrophes. The waiver permits service to land-based (base and mobile) Public Safety stations on HF frequencies in the event of a natural or man-made disaster that renders the normal communications infrastructure inoperable, and monthly testing/training to familiarize personnel with how to operate the equipment and make sure it is operable.

Click here to download the full FCC Public notice (PDF).

FCC: A detailed application for a new 10KW DRM transmitter

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

Thomas, did you see this? It’s a detailed application to the FCC for the construction of a 10KW shortwave transmitter for DRM on 9.65 MHz and 15.45 MHz.

Click here to download the application (PDF).

Thanks, Ed! I know nothing about Turms Tech other than on their FCC application, they list their business is “broadcast and data.”

Another SWLing Post reader forwarded the following from this article in Radio Mag Online:

“Of interest in the U.S. is the recent application of Turms Tech LLC to broadcast DRM from New Jersey toward Europe and the Middle East. Specifically, they plan on using the Armstrong tower, just west and north of New York City, with yagi-type antennas, generating an ERP of 10 kW on 9.65 and 15.45 MHz.”

The Radio Mag article is worth reading in full as it includes a number of DRM news items.

Additionally, if you’re interesting in following DRM news, check out the excellent DRMNA blog.

Post readers: anyone have more information about this new DRM broadcast site?  Please comment!

FCC to legalize CB DXing and boost FRS power

(Source: Southgate ARC)

FCC to modernize Part 95 Regs – GMRS, FRS, CB

The FCC is to legalize 27 MHz CB DXing and boost power of license exempt UHF FM Family Radio Service (equivalent of UK PMR 446)

Under its new Chair Ajit Pai, the FCC is seeking to modernize radio regulations and is scrapping pointless rules like the 250 km (155.3 mile) restriction on Citizen Band Radio contacts.

As yet there is no word on the FCC taking action on the archaic Part 97 amateur radio regulations. Over 40 years ago the FCC considered these regulations were in need of a major overhaul and in 1976 introduced the “Regulation by Bandwidth” Docket 20777. The FCC eventually abandoned the modernization attempt after a a long campaign against it waged by the ARRL.

There was a desire by some radio amateurs in the late 1970’s to restrict the bandwidth of digital data transmissions but any form of “Regulation by Bandwidth” was considered anathema. This resulted in the introduction in 1980 of a Symbol Rate restriction on digital transmissions (avoiding the dreaded words “Bandwidth Restriction”). This has crippled amateur radio data communications ever since, preventing amateurs using modern modes.

It may well be that before too long the FCC will make another attempt at reforming Part 97.

Regarding the Part 95 changes the ARRL says:

In a lengthy Report and Order (R&O) in a proceeding (WT Docket No. 10-119) dating back 7 years, the FCC has announced rule changes affecting the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), the Family Radio Service (FRS), the Citizens Band Radio Service (CBRS or “CB”), as well as other applications that fall under the FCC’s Part 95 Personal Radio Services (PRS) rules and regulations. Part 95 devices typically are low-power units that communicate over shared spectrum and, with some exceptions, do not require an individual user license from the FCC. As the R&O explains, common examples of PRS devices include “walkie-talkies;” radio-control cars, boats, and planes; hearing assistance devices; CB radios; medical implant devices; and Personal Locator Beacons.

“This draft Report and Order completes a thorough review of the PRS rules in order to modernize them, remove outdated requirements, and reorganize them to make it easier to find information,” the FCC said in a summary attached to the R&O. “As a result of this effort, the rules will become consistent, clear, and concise.”

GMRS and FRS devices are used for personal communication over several miles; compact FRS handhelds, often sold in pairs, are widely available. While GMRS and FRS share spectrum, GMRS provides for greater communications range and requires an FCC license; FRS does not.

“The rules will increase the number of communications channels for both GMRS and FRS, expand digital capabilities to GMRS (currently allowed for FRS), and increase the power/range for certain FRS channels to meet consumer demands for longer range communications (while maintaining higher power capabilities for licensed GMRS),” the FCC explained.

The amended rules eventually will eliminate combination FRS/GMRS radios for the most part, but allow up to 2 W PEP output for FRS transceivers.

Read the full ARRL story at
http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-personal-radio-service-revisions-will-affect-gmrs-frs-cb-other-part-95-devices

FCC Report and Order
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-344617A1.pdf

The irony here is that CB DXing (regardless of power) has been in wide practice since the begging of the Citizen’s Band service! I suppose I never realized (at legal power) DXing was illegal. 🙂