[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 114 (Tuesday, June 15, 2010)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 33748-33752]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-14384]



47 CFR Parts 2 and 97

[ET Docket No. 10-98; FCC 10-76]

Amateur Radio Use of the Allocation at 5 MHz

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.


SUMMARY: In this document the Commission proposes to amend rules 
relating to the Amateur Radio Service. Specifically, the Commission 
proposes to modify the rules pertaining to the use of five channels in 
the 5330.6-5406.4 kHz band (the 60 meter band) to replace one 
designated channel with one that is less encumbered, to authorize three 
additional emission designators, and to increase the maximum authorized 
power in this band.

[[Page 33749]]

DATES: Comments must be filed on or before July 15, 2010, and reply 
comments must be filed on or before July 30, 2010.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by ET Docket No. 10-98, 
by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Federal Communications Commission's Web Site: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: [Optional: Include the E-mail address only if you 
plan to accept comments from the general public]. Include the docket 
number(s) in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: [Optional: Include the mailing address for paper, 
disk or CD-ROM submissions needed/requested by your Bureau or Office. 
Do not include the Office of the Secretary's mailing address here.]
     People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request 
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language 
interpreters, CART, etc.) by e-mail: [email protected] or phone: 202-418-
0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.
    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional 
information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Mooring, Office of Engineering and 
Technology, (202) 418-2450, e-mail: [email protected], TTY (202) 418-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Notice 
of Proposed Rule Making, ET Docket No. 10-98, FCC 10-76, adopted May 4, 
2010 and released May 7, 2010. The full text of this document is 
available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in 
the FCC Reference Center (Room CY-A257), 445 12th Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20554. The complete text of this document also may be 
purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and 
Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street, SW., Room, CY-B402, Washington, DC 
20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: http://www.fcc.gov.
    Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 
47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply 
comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this 
document. Comments may be filed using: (1) The Commission's Electronic 
Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government's eRulemaking 
Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of 
Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
     Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must 
file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one 
docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, 
filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or 
rulemaking number. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, 
by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. 
Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's 
Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
     All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings 
for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 
445 12th St., SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours 
are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with 
rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before 
entering the building.
     Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton 
Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
     U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority 
mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554.
    People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible 
formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic 
files, audio format), send an e-mail to [email protected] or call the 
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-
418-0432 (tty).

Summary of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    1. In the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), the Commission 
proposes to amend parts 2 and 97 of the Commission's Rules relating to 
the Amateur Radio Service. Specifically, the Commission proposes to 
modify the rules pertaining to the use of five channels in the 5330.6-
5406.4 kHz band (the 60 meter band) to replace one designated channel 
with one that is less encumbered, to authorize three additional 
emission designators, and to increase the maximum authorized power in 
this band. These proposals are in response to a petition for rulemaking 
filed by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). Additionally, and on 
its own motion, the Commission proposes to make editorial revisions to 
the relevant portions of the Table of Frequency Allocations (Allocation 
Table) in parts 2 and 97.
    2. On October 20, 2006, ARRL filed a petition for rulemaking (ARRL 
Petition) seeking certain modifications to the rules governing amateur 
radio use of the 60 meter band. In its petition, ARRL requests that the 
Commission make three modifications to the existing rules governing 
amateur radio use of the 60 meter band in order to increase the 
flexibility in the use of the band and to facilitate emergency 
communications provided by the Amateur Radio Service. First, ARRL 
requests that one of the available channels, 5368 kHz, be replaced with 
5358.5 kHz. Second, it requests that three additional emission 
designators (150HA1A, 60H0J2B, and 2K80J2D) be authorized in the 60 
meter band. Third, it requests that the maximum effective radiated 
power on channels in the 60 meter band be increased from 50 to 100 
watts (W) peak envelope power (PEP).
    3. The existing amateur radio use of the 60 meter band represents a 
balancing of important interests--the desire to provide amateur 
operators with frequencies that could be used to complete disaster 
communications links when other bands are not available, and the need 
to protect important primary Federal operations in the 60 meter band. 
The ARRL petition seeks to modify the existing spectrum sharing 
scenario in a manner that appears to be consistent with the interests 
of both Federal and amateur users in the band, and the Commission 
tentatively concludes that the changes proposed by ARRL should be 
    4. ARRL states that its request to replace the 5368 kHz channel 
with 5358.5 kHz is based on reports from amateur operators of frequent 
interference from a digital signal on the existing authorized channel. 
Based on this information, the Commission tentatively agrees that the 
proposed modification would eliminate interference and enhance amateur 
radio operations and that it should be implemented. The Commission 
notes that most non-Federal licensees in the 60 meter band are licensed 
across the larger band 5005-5450 kHz and that many are also licensed 
across other bands as well. Therefore, the Commission believes that its 
proposal to exchange one amateur channel for another in the 60 meter 
band will have

[[Page 33750]]

a de minimis impact on these licensees, while benefiting amateur radio 
users who have a limited number of channels in the band on which they 
may operate. The Commission also believes that this exchange will 
reduce the potential for interference from amateur operations to the 
primary Federal stations operating in the 5330.6-5406.4 kHz band.
    5. ARRL indicates that its survey of amateur radio users in the 
band found that there is significant demand for modulation techniques 
that would allow telegraphy and data transmissions in addition to the 
one that is currently permitted for voice transmissions (single 
sideband suppressed carrier upper sideband, emission type 2K80J3E). 
Specifically, ARRL states that Morse code telegraphy by means of on-off 
keying (emission designator 150HA1A) continues to be used by amateur 
stations because of its reliability in difficult propagation 
conditions. ARRL also states that the other requested emission 
designators--60H0J2B (which is generally known as PSK31) and 2K80J2D 
(which is generally known as PACTOR-III)--are popular narrowband data 
modes. The Commission proposes to add these three emission designators, 
which would allow four permissible emission types to be used in the 60 
meter band. It proposes to permit any additional modulation techniques 
that it adopts to be used on all assigned frequencies within the 60 
meter band.
    6. ARRL states that the Commission could require amateur operators 
to limit the length of transmissions in the two data emission modes in 
order to better position amateur operators to avoid causing harmful 
interference to primary operations, and suggests adopting a rule that 
incorporates a general requirement to limit the duration of data 
transmissions. The Commission seeks comment on whether a rule 
addressing transmission limits would help ensure that in the currently 
infrequent instances in which Federal agencies exercise their primary 
use of the 60 meter band frequencies, those amateur licensees who have 
been operating on a secondary basis will be better positioned to avoid 
causing prohibited harmful interference. To the extent that commenters 
support a specific time limit, the Commission asks whether a 
transmission length of three minutes would be sufficient. If not, it 
asks what limits should be adopted. In addition, the Commission seeks 
comment on whether amateur stations should be permitted to transmit 
emission types in addition to the four discussed in the 60 meter band 
section without increasing the likelihood of interference to primary 
users. To the extent that commenters identify such emission 
designators, they should discuss their use and benefits and, in 
particular, how the use of those emission designators can be balanced 
with the Commission's continued interest in protecting primary stations 
in the 60 meter band.
    7. In support of its proposal to increase the power level, ARRL 
states that typical transmitter output power in modern amateur radio 
transceivers is 100 W PEP, and that the present 50 W PEP transmitter 
output power limit compromises communication reliability in the 60 
meter band. ARRL claims that there are, at certain times of the year, 
high static levels in this frequency range. It argues that a slightly 
higher transmitter power output would bolster reliability, especially 
in connection with emergency communications. ARRL also suggests that 
amateur operators be required to use Voice-Operated Transmit (VOX) in 
the phone emission mode. ARRL contends that adopting this requirement, 
in conjunction with an increased transmitter output power limit, would 
permit a Federal user to interrupt an amateur station's transmission 
quickly and easily without waiting for an unpredictable end of the 
transmission. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals and 
whether it should adopt them. The Commission specifically seeks comment 
on whether a VOX mode of operation might increase the potential for 
interference because of its susceptibility to keying a radio to 
transmit under high surrounding noise environments such as might be 
found in an emergency operations center.
    8. In the Commission's proposed rules to implement the changes 
discussed in this proceeding, in some cases it has incorporated 
editorial revisions intended to make the rules easier to read and to 
ensure that control operators have the necessary information to easily 
determine their proper operating requirements on the 60 meter band 
frequencies. Also, at the request of the National Telecommunications 
and Information Administration (NTIA), the Commission solicits comment 
on whether amateur operators that provide emergency communications 
using the 60 meter band should be encouraged to add a sound card 
generated Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) capability to their 

Ordering Clauses

    9. Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  1, 4, 301, 302(a), and 303(b), (c) and 
(f) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154, 
301, 302a(a), and 303(b), (c) and (f), the notice of proposed 
rulemaking is hereby adopted.
    10. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, 
Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of the notice of 
proposed rulemaking, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Certification

    11. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),\1\ 
requires that an initial regulatory flexibility analysis be prepared 
for notice and comment rulemaking proceedings, unless the agency 
certifies that ``the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.'' \2\ The 
RFA generally defines the term `` small entity'' as having the same 
meaning as the terms ``small business,'' `` small organization,'' and 
``small governmental jurisdiction.'' \3\ In addition, the term ``small 
business'' has the same meaning as the term ``small business concern'' 
under the Small Business Act.\4\ A ``small business concern'' is one 
which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in 
its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria 
established by the Small Business Administration (SBA).\5\

    \1\ The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601-612, has been amended by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), 
Public Law 104-121, Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996).
    \2\ 5 U.S.C. 605(b).
    \3\ 5 U.S.C. 601(6).
    \4\ 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition 
of ``small business concern'' in the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 
632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 601(3), the statutory definition of a 
small business applies ``unless an agency, after consultation with 
the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and 
after opportunity for public comment, establishes one or more 
definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of 
the agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal 
    \5\ 15 U.S.C. 632.

    12. In the NPRM, the Commission proposed to amend the amateur 
service rules in order to replace one of the channels in the 60 meter 
band with a less encumbered channel, to provide for additional emssion 
designators, and to increase the maximum authorized power.
    13. Because ``small entities,'' as defined in the RFA, are not 
persons eligible for licensing in the amateur service, the proposed 
changes to part 97 does not apply to ``small entities.'' Rather, they 
apply exclusively to individuals who are the control operators of 
amateur radio stations.

[[Page 33751]]

    14. As of January 22, 2009, the Commission had issued 100 call 
signs to 46 licensees in the Conventional Industrial/Business Pool 
Radio Service (IG) in the five 2.8 kHz channels at issue in this 
proceeding. These call signs authorize the use of the entire 5005-5450 
kHz band and other frequency bands. Because these licensees can tune 
across the 5005-5450 kHz band and other frequency bands, the Commission 
believes that replacing one 2.8 kHz channel with another nearby channel 
for secondary amateur service use would have a de minimis effect on 
incumbent non-Federal IG licensees.\6\ Moreover, the Commission 
believes that, at most, only 17 of the IG licensees met the definition 
of a small entity. Therefore, it certifies that the proposals in this 
NPRM, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.

    \6\ These licensees are authorized under 90.266 of the 
Commission's Rules. Section 90.266(e) requires that ``equipment 
shall be capable of transmitting and receiving on any frequency 
between 2 and 25 MHz and capable of immediate change among the 
frequencies, provided, however, that this requirement does not apply 
to equipment manufactured prior to August 15, 1983.'' Section 
90.266(f) limits licensees to a maximum necessary bandwidth of 2.8 
kHz. 47 CFR 90.266(e) and (f).

    15. If commenters believe that the proposals discussed in the NPRM 
require additional RFA analysis, they should include a discussion of 
these issues in their comments and additionally label them as RFA 
comments. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including a copy 
of this initial certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the 

    \7\ See 5 U.S.C. 605(b).

List of Subjects 47 CFR Parts 2 and 97

    Communications equipment, Radio.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,

Rule Changes

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR parts 2 and 97 to 
read as follows:


    1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise 

    2. Section 2.106, the Table of Frequency Allocations, is amended by 
revising footnote US381 to read as follows.

Sec.  2.106  Table of Frequency Allocations.

* * * * *

United States (US) Footnotes

* * * * *
    US381 In the band 5330.6-5406.4 kHz (60 m band), the assigned 
(center) frequencies 5332, 5348, 5358.5, 5373, and 5405 kHz are 
allocated to the amateur service on a secondary basis. Amateur 
service use of the 60 m band frequencies is restricted to a maximum 
effective radiated power of 100 W PEP and to the following emission 
modes and designators: phone (2K80J3E), data (2K80J2D and 60H0J2B), 
and CW (150HA1A). Amateur operators using data emissions must 
exercise care to limit the length of transmissions so as to avoid 
causing harmful interference to Federal stations.
* * * * *


    3. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 48 Stat. 1066, 1082, as amended: 47 U.S.C. 154, 303. 
Interpret or apply 48 Stat. 1064-1068, 1081-1105, as amended; 47 
U.S.C. 151-155, 301-609, unless otherwise noted.

    4. Section 97.303 is amended by revising paragraph (h) to read as 

Sec.  97.303  Frequency sharing requirements.

* * * * *
    (h) 60 m band: (1) In the 5330.6-5406.4 kHz band (60 m band), 
amateur stations shall only transmit on the five center frequencies 
listed in the table below. In order to meet this requirement, amateur 
stations transmitting phone emissions and PACTOR-III data emissions may 
set the carrier frequency 1.4 kHz below the center frequency as 
specified in the table below. For amateur stations transmitting CW 
emissions and PSK31 data emissions, the carrier frequency shall be set 
to the center frequency. Amateur operators shall ensure that their 
station's transmission occupies not more than 2.8 kHz centered on each 
of these frequencies.

                       60 M Band Frequencies (kHz)
                            Center                              Carrier
5332.0.......................................................     5330.6
5348.0.......................................................     5346.6
5358.5.......................................................     5357.1
5373.0.......................................................     5371.6
5405.0.......................................................     5403.6

     (2) Amateur stations transmitting on the 60 m band must not cause 
harmful interference to, and must accept interference from, stations 
authorized by:
    (i) The United States (NTIA and FCC) and other nations in the fixed 
service; and
    (ii) Other nations in the mobile except aeronautical mobile 
* * * * *
    5. Section 97.305 is amended by revising the entries for wavelength 
band HF in the table following paragraph (c) to read as follows:

Sec.  97.305  Authorized emission types.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *

                                                                    Emission types         Standards see Sec.
           Wavelength band                  Frequencies               authorized          97.307(f), paragraph:
                                                  * * * * * * *
HF:                                   .......................  .......................  ........................
    80 m............................  Entire band............  RTTY, data.............  (3), (9).
    75 m............................  Entire band............  Phone, image...........  (1), (2).
    60 m............................  All frequencies........  Phone, data............  (14).
    40 m............................  7.000-7.100 MHz........  RTTY, data.............  (3), (9).
                                                  * * * * * * *

[[Page 33752]]

    6. Section 97.307 is amended by adding new paragraph (f)(14) to 
read as follows.

Sec.  97.307  Emission standards.

* * * * *
    (f) * * *
    (14) In the 60 m band:
    (i) A station may transmit only phone, data, and CW emissions using 
the emission designators and any additional restrictions that are 
specified in the table below (except that the use of a narrower 
necessary bandwidth is permitted):

                                         60 M Band Emission Requirements
            Emission type               Emission designator                      Restricted to
Phone...............................  2K80J3E................  Upper sideband only.
Data................................  2K80J2D................  Data using PACTOR-III technique.
Do..................................  60H0J2B................  Data using PSK31 technique.
CW..................................  150HA1A................  .................................................

     (ii) The following requirements also apply:
    (A) When transmitting phone emissions, the suppressed carrier 
frequency must be set as specified in 97.303(h).
    (B) The control operator of a station transmitting data emissions 
must exercise care to limit the length of transmission so as to avoid 
causing harmful interference to United States Government stations.
    7. Section 97.313 is amended by adding paragraph (i) to read as 

Sec.  97.313  Transmitter power standards.

* * * * *
    (i) No station may transmit with an effective radiated power (ERP) 
exceeding 100 W PEP on the 60 m band. For the purpose of computing ERP, 
the transmitter PEP will be multiplied by the antenna gain relative to 
a dipole or the equivalent calculation in decibels. A half-wave dipole 
antenna will be presumed to have a gain of 1. Licensees using other 
antennas must maintain in their station records either the antenna 
manufacturer's data on the antenna gain or calculations of the antenna 

[FR Doc. 2010-14384 Filed 6-14-10; 8:45 am]