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Australian Reciprocal Licensing Changes

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced
changes to the Amateur licence. 

Among the changes they now permit the Encoding, for the purpose of Obscuring
the meaning, of control signals for Amateur Satellites or unattended stations.

>From WIA News:
This is Michael Owen VK3KI President of the Wireless Institute of Australia.

 Today I am able to tell you of 3 major decisions made last Thursday by the
 ACMA board.

In short, the news is that ACMA has made the Determination to amend
the Amateur LCD to make the last of changes foreshadowed in the
Outcomes published in May 2004; ACMA has issued the Class Licence
allowing visiting amateurs to operate in Australia without any other
Australian licence, which is hopefully the last steps from our end
before Australian amateurs can operate in the CEPT countries on the
basis of their Australian Advanced licence, and finally ACMA has
announced who has been successful in submitting its expression of
interest in the amateur examination management, certificate and
certain call sign functions outsourcing.

 Those are the headlines.

 Now, for a little detail.

 The amendments to the LCD are quite extensive.  Let me try and summarise the
 major changes:

 The prohibition on the connection of automated systems to a public
 telecommunications network, which includes the Internet, has been removed.

 Foundation licensees cannot make such connections, but Advanced, Standard and
 Repeater licensees can, but now must "implement reasonable measures to ensure
 that only appropriately licensed person access the station."

 New, and not foreshadowed in the ACA Outcomes, is an obligation on Standard
 and Advanced licensees (but not repeater licensees) to warn a person connected
 to an amateur station from a public telecommunications network that they can
 be heard by others.

 Now, signals encoded for the purpose of obscuring the meaning may be used
 for controlling a satellite or an unattended amateur stations or in emergency

 The AX call sign will be able to be used on Australia Day, Anzac Day and
 World Telecommunication day without doing more.

 A number of matters are made clear for the Foundation licensee.  At last,
 10 watts may be used for all permitted modes.  But a Foundation licensee
 cannot allow a person who is not an amateur to use his or her transmitter,
 or operate his or her station in automatic mode or computer controlled mode
 or operate his or her station directly connected to a public
 telecommunications network.

 The obligation for all stations in a net to identify all stations every
 10 minutes is relaxed for emergency networks, so that one station may
 identify all stations every 30 minutes.

 There is now a clear requirement that a person operating through a repeater
 must be licensed to operate on the repeaters output frequency.

 As foreshadowed in the Outcomes paper, the Amateur LCD now defines limits to
 spurious emissions, in fact the ITU limits already applying to the amateur

 A new and rather complex definition of "operate" defines how an amateur
 station may be used by someone who is not an amateur.

 The Amending Determination comes into effect the day after it is registered,
 probably next Monday or Tuesday.  I hope that a copy will then be available
 on the WIA website.  I have also written a paper that describes in more
 particular terms the changes, and that is already available on the WIA

 In probably 3 or 4 weeks a consolidated version of the Amateur LCD
 incorporating these amendments will be published.  That will be a lot easier
 to read, and something everyone will need to have.

 The next major piece of news is that the ACMA has issued a class licence to
 allow visiting amateurs to operate in Australia for up to 90 days using their
 home call sign followed by the suffix VK followed by "portable" and then the
 location of the station, without doing anything more.

 That class licence comes into effect on 14 February.

 There are 5 levels of visitor licence, 3 matching the Australian Advanced,
 Standard and Foundation licenses, a VHF licence, and finally, in effect,
 a 146 to 148 FM licence.

 The privileges of each level are set out in the class licence.

 ACMA will publish on its website a table showing equivalencies to the
 Australian visitor levels for different overseas licences.

 This class licence for visiting amateurs is, we hope, the final step before
 CEPT allows Australian Advanced licensees to operate a in the CEPT countries,
 some 32 countries mainly in Europe, using their Australian call sign, without
 doing more.

 The WIA will let everyone know immediately CEPT has allowed Australian
 amateurs to operate under what is called TR 61 01.

 I hope that a copy of the Class Licence will also be available on the WIA
 website next Monday or Tuesday.

 All of these changes mean that extensive changes are currently being made to
 the ACMA website, but they won't all be in place immediately.  Please be

 Now the final piece of news.

 As you know, the WIA has repeatedly expressed its concern that its role as the
 manager of the amateur examination system has not been secure.  Finally, last
 year the ACMA advertised for expressions of interest to provide
 the examination management function, to issue certificates, and certain call
 sign functions.

 The WIA has been advised that its expression of interest met all the criteria
 published by ACMA for the tasks, and that ACMA will now negotiate the terms
 of a contract with the WIA to cover these matters being outsourced.

 Together, these three matters are of great importance to Australian amateurs,
 with now only one matter outstanding, that is for CEPT to accept that
 VK licensees can operate in the CEPT countries as we will allow their
 licensees to operate after 14 February.
Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

ACMA Amends Amateur LCD

The New Australian Amateur Radio Regulations

73 Trevor M5AKA
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