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[OT] Re: Walkie-Talkie MIR tests

Bob's message concerning APRSat frequency coordination raises a more
fundamental issue.  We have put together frequency coordinating bodies in
the United States that effectively preserve the status quo regardless of
technological innovation or even changes in the interests of the local ham
community.  Repeaters are essentially granted full time access to a
significant slice of 2 meter spectrum even when they are rarely or never
used.   My experience has been, in fact, that most repeaters aren't used
much, if at all.  While it is true that I now live in a fairly rural area,
the same thing was true when I lived in Boston.

It amazes me that I can frequently tune the entire repeater output band and
hear not a single signal, yet the coordinating group is adamant that there
are no two meter frequencies available.  This is just nuts.  Frankly as an
end user, I would be happy if there were fewer repeaters in my area because
it would raise the likelihood of my finding someone to talk to on one of

Bob's proposed application is perhaps the most extreme case I've run into
of a worthwhile idea being driven off by a frequency coordinating system
that has outlived its usefulness.   This is exactly why the government went
to frequency auctions.  If 2 meter frequencies were leased instead of given
away, those who valued them most highly would have access and those
frequencies that were being occupied by a repeater with no users, only an
ego-centric owner, would be recycled for a more worthwhile purpose.  

No I don't think frequency auctions for 2 meter frequencies are the answer,
but it does seem to me that we need to do the following:

1. Reconsider the 2 meter bandplan with an eye toward reducing repeater
frequency allocations.

2. At the same time, make sure adequate frequency space is provided for
experimental purposes.

3. Assign frequency pairs to repeaters on a time-limited basis with renewal
contingent upon a demonstration that the repeater is actually being used.

4. Give preference to repeaters offering wide-area coverage.  This will
maximize the probably that there is actually someone to talk to at any
given time.

5. Give preference to open repeaters.  Is there some reason that we
sanction the "gift" of frequency spectrum to someone who wishes to set up a
closed repeater?

John, W2FS

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