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"Two Hundred Meters and Down," 2003 edition

In 1912, Congress limited amateurs and other "private stations" to
wavelengths below 200 meters (frequencies above 1.5 MHz), where they would
not be able to cause damage to Naval and commercial stations operating above
200 meters according to the prevailing technology of that era.

In 2003, FCC has proposed to authorize BPL in the 2-80 MHz range, and Wi-Fi
at 5470-5725 MHz.  WRC-03 has allocated that band to Wi-Fi on a primary
basis.  According to the Central States VHF Society, BPL emissions are
likely to produce harmonics well into the UHF bands.  A similar result is
likely for Wi-Fi at 2.4 and 5.4 GHz.

Except for those amateurs lucky enough to live in rural areas, that would
leave 160m, perhaps 23cm, and the upper microwave bands (perhaps 24 GHz and
above) as the only places U.S. amateurs can operate free from interference
caused by the "national information infrastructure."  If you live outside
the U.S., "this picture is coming to a theatre near you."

There's an eerie similarity in that: "Top Band" was our principal refuge in
1912 as well.  The difference is that short waves, 3.5-30 MHz plus VHF and
lower UHF, open to amateurs then, will be functionally useless now if FCC
has its way.

What can you do about this?  Reply Comments in the BPL matter, ET Docket
03-104, are open through August 20th.  Comments in the 5 GHz Wi-Fi matter,
ET Docket 03-122, are open through September 3rd, with Reply Comments open
through September 23rd.

For more information on how you can file comments or reply comments, go to


Ray, W2RS

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