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LMCC Letters

What follows is a letter I sent to the FCC regarding the LMCC.  I was
wondering if anyone else would care to share their letters to the FCC with
me (preferrably in private) and "compare notes".

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter in regards to RM-9267, the proposal of
re-allocating the frequencies of  420 to 430 MHz to the Private Mobile
Radio Service.  

While I understand that the usage of this band is not as common as the
2-meter portion of the Amateur Bands (144-148 MHz), the understood
usefulness of the 23-centimeter band may not be fully recognized.  

I currently own 3 radios and accessories (antennae, cable, mounts, etc.)
that amount to over $1000 in invested money towards the 23-centimeter band.
 I am also a SKYWARN Net Control Operator who facilitates traffic to and
from the National Weather Service office in Morristown, Tennessee.  The NWS
office has two radios for use on the 23-centimeter band as well.  If a
government agency uses the 23-centimeter band, why give it to other
privately funded agencies?  Will these private agencies save the government
money as does Amateur Radio?

Take for example on April 16, 1998.  This was the day that a tornado went
through nearby downtown Nashville, Tennessee.  Here in Knoxville we
activated SKYWARN on 147.300, 224.500, and 444.575 MHz all linked together.
 The net ran for a total of seven hours, with a total of 101 Amateur
Operators checking in, including the National Weather Service.  Given that
each Amateur Operator checked in for at least one hour at a given rate of
$10 per hour, with a radio averaging a cost of $200, on a system costing
approximately $10,000, the time and equipment donated by Amateur Radio
alone saved our local government approximately $37,270 in manpower that
would have been exhausted on government agencies and expenditures here in
this city alone.  I have included the records from the April 16th SKYWARN
Net for your examination.

<<NOTE:  Deleted to save bandwidth>>

Of course this figure is based on hypothesis and calculated figures from
guessing what each individual Amateur Operator owns and operates.  This
figure may be slightly too much, but may also be way below it’s actual
figures.  Either way, we Amateurs have saved our local government(s) time
and money helping to pass vital information to the NWS and various
Emergency Management Agencies in our area.  Multiply this figure by 10, 15,
50 cities across the United States, and we HAMs are volunteering much more
than time on what the private sector considers, “useless space”.

Also, how many lives have been saved by Amateur Radio?  Can anyone truly
place a dollar figure on human life and say that HAM radio is not worth it?
 No.  I personally feel that you cannot give monetary value to one’s soul,
no matter how insignificant that soul may be compared to the monetary value
of a radio frequency.

Amateur Radio is an asset to the community, to the country, and to the
world.  We HAMs are often the “last line of defense” in communications
blackout.  Given any disaster that has taken place over the last century,
HAM operators have always been there in the shadows to provide Emergency
and Health & Welfare Communications to those in need of it.  By reducing
our spectrum to private organizations who might perchance do nothing more
than stake a claim to it and never use it, you also reduce the
effectiveness of Amateur Radio entirely.  

As more Amateurs are getting licensed and taking to the airwaves, the
frequencies are becoming more and more crowded with HAMs wanting to enjoy
the privileges they have earned and been given.  By creating a “log jam” of
airspace, the effectiveness of HAM radio is cut down to a minimum.  Cut to
the point where government agencies such as FEMA and NWS can no longer rely
on HAM radio to fulfill their needs.  This is not acceptable to my peers or
myself.  We rely on 23-centimeters as a place to go for reliable
communications and traffic handling.  By reducing our spectrum allocations
or even considering such an act, we may be deemed unacceptable,
unnecessary, and eventually, “in the way”.  

We have never been “in the way” before, nor should we ever be regarded as.
Ask any Emergency Management Agency official or Red Cross organization in
the U. S.  They can speak of Amateur Radio as I speak of it to you now,
with great pride and dexterity to be needed whenever they desire.  Our
valuable volunteerism goes without saying and beyond monetary statutes.  I
should hope that will be considered when the FCC takes into consideration
the future of 23-centimeters to HAM radio operators and the private sector.
 Support Amateur Radio as Amateur Radio supports you.

*  I once had a life, now I have a                 *
*  computer and a modem...                         *
*                                                  *
*  Gregory S. Williams                             *
*  ke4hsm@icx.net                                  *
*  http://user.icx.net/~ke4hsm/index.html          *