FCC Denies "Digital Stone Age Petition" RM-11392
- FCC "received 650 comments and reply comments,
most of which opposed" Mark Miller's so-called
Digital Stone Age Petition RM-11392.
If you remember, a bulletin about this petition
was sent out in December 2007, and many ham
operators mobilized to respond to FCC at that time.
The petition seeked to eliminate various digital
data communications methods, including Olivia,
ALE, and PACTOR, and to turn the clock back on digital
innovation in the USA Amateur Radio Service.
Thankfully, for the future of ham radio, the FCC
reasonably considered it, and determined that it
was neither convinced nor persuaded to pursue
anything in Mr. Miller's petition.
In FCC's official consideration statements, FCC
specifically supports no finite limit of bandwidth for
digital data emissions for the amateur radio service.
FCC instead prefers to rely upon existing rules, and to
encourage amateur radio operators to advance the
radio art. FCC said that imposition of such limits
might impede experimentation and technological innovation.
Importantly, FCC also says that it does not believe
that it is in the public interest to prohibit
communications technology that is already in current
use in the Amateur Radio Service.
The following are a few key paragraphs of FCC's order
denying the petition.
73--- Bonnie Crystal KQ6XA
Adopted: May 6, 2008 Released: May 7, 2008
"In this Order, we address a petition for rulemaking filed by Mark
Miller (Miller), requesting amendment of the Commission's Amateur
Radio Service rules to revise the operating privileges for amateur
radio service stations that transmit data emission types.
Specifically, the Petition requests that Sections 97.3, 97.221,
97.305, and 97.307 of the Commission's Rules be amended to revise
various definitions and frequency privileges. Based upon the record
before us, we deny the Petition."
"On March 27, 2007, Miller requested that the Commission amend various
rules that relate to use of amateur service spectrum by stations
transmitting data and other narrow bandwidth emissions.
Specifically, the petition requests that the Commission
(1) amend the definition of data in Section 97.3(c)(2) to delete
language added in the Commission's 2006 Omnibus Report and Order,3
(2) amend Section 97.221 to limit the subbands on which unattended
operation of automatically controlled digital stations is permitted,
and (3) amend Sections 97.305 and 97.307 to establish maximum
necessary bandwidths for radioteletype (RTTY)4 and data emissions in
the amateur high frequency (HF) bands."
"As Miller notes, adoption of these proposed changes would result in
'a small number of wider bandwidth modes,' including Pactor III, not
being authorized. In support of these requests, the petition states
that 'emissions have crept into the narrowband RTTY/Data subbands in
the 80 through 10-meter bands that are not appropriate for the
RTTY/Data subbands,' and that 'stations under automatic control have
taken advantage of loopholes created by terminology in the
commission's rules'. We received over 650 comments and reply comments,
most of which oppose the petition."
"We are not persuaded that the petitioner has presented sufficient
reason to justify the requested amendment. The present rules allow
amateur stations to transmit PSK data emissions subject to the
conditions that the station transmission shall occupy no more
bandwidth than necessary for the information rate and emission type
being transmitted, and that emissions resulting from modulation must
be confined to the band or segment available to the control operator.
We believe that these rules provide amateur service licensees the
flexibility to develop new technologies within the spectrum authorized
for the various classes of licensees, while protecting other users of
the spectrum from harmful interference. We also believe that imposing
a maximum bandwidth limitation on data emissions would result in a
loss of flexibility to develop and improve technologies as licensees'
operating interests change, new technologies are incorporated, and
frequency bands are reallocated.
Additionally, we believe that amending the amateur service rules to
limit the ability of amateur stations to experiment with various
communications technologies or otherwise impeding their ability to
advance the radio art would be inconsistent with the definition and
purpose of the amateur service. Moreover, we do not believe that
changing the rules to prohibit a communications technology currently
in use is in the public interest."
"CONCLUSION AND ORDERING CLAUSES"
"Based on the record before us, we conclude that Miller has not set
forth sufficient reasons for the Commission to propose to delete the
2006 addition to the definition of data, amend the rules to prohibit
automatically controlled stations from transmitting on frequency
segments other than those specified in Section 97.221(b), or replace
the symbol rate limits in Section 97.307(f) with bandwidth
limitations. Consequently, we deny the Petition."
" IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.407 of the Commission's
Rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.407, the Petition for Rule Making submitted by
Mark Miller on March 27, 2007, RM-11392, IS DENIED."