Calling All Amateurs – 60 Meters – PLEASE TAKE ACTION

Please see the following from ARRL Northwestern Division Director Mike Ritz, W7VO regarding the important need for all amateurs to make comments on the FCCs Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) Docket Number 23-120.  Their proposal would devastate our ability to use 60-meters in a meaningful way, and this band has proven exceptionally useful in our region.  PLEASE MAKE COMMENTS to the FCC as described in Mike’s message.  There is a link to the ARRL’s page on the matter with instructions as to how to file.  REMEMBER, PLEASE GET THESE IN BY OCTOBER 30.

Here is Mike’s message:

Subject: SPECIAL BULLLETIN: Help ARRL Save Our 60 Meter Allocation!

Attention: ARRL Northwestern Division Member

We need your assistance, and we need it NOW.  We strongly encourage you
to assist the ARRL and the entire U.S. Amateur Radio community by
submitting comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
before October 30th to save the privileges we have fought to gain on 60
meters.  Even if you are not currently active on 60 meters, the proposed
reduction in power from 100 watts to an equivalent of less than 10 watts
is the most sweeping reduction of HF privileges in decades.  If Amateur
Radio opposition to this proposed change is weak and the FCC goes
through with the change, will a lackluster response from the Amateur
Radio community embolden the FCC to remove or modify more HF

Please read this message in full to understand why your help is needed
prior to submitting your comments.

The FCC has issued Notice of Proposed Rulemaking’s (NPRM) Docket
Number 23-120 which would reduce power on 60 meters from 100 watts ERP
(Effective Radiated Power) to the equivalent of 9.5 watts ERP.  The NPRM
would replace the current five channels (currently each with a 100-watt
power limit) with a 15 kHz continuous spectrum from 5351.5 to 5366.5
kHz, but limiting power to the equivalent of 9.5 watts ERP.  ARRL is
proposing to keep the current five channels AND add the docket’s
proposed 15 kHz of continuous spectrum, all at a power level of 100
watts ERP.

It is important to note that in 2022 our neighbor, Canada, enacted
ARRL’s position by keeping the five current channels AND adding the
expanded 15 kHz of continuous spectrum, all at 100 watts.  ARRL is
advocating for the FCC to adopt the identical allocations and power
limits which Canada put in place over a year ago.

When the FCC authorized 60-meter access for Amateur Radio operators in
July 2003, the Commission cited the positive propagation attributes for
emergency communications.  Over the past twenty years during hurricanes,
Caribbean Amateur Radio stations used 60 meters to relay critical
weather and situational reports to U.S. operators.  In our own Division,
Alaska uses 60 meters for their critical EMCOMM communications. Clearly,
9.5 watts ERP would be woefully inadequate to maintain communications
for these purposes.

In the May 2023 ARRL survey, members overwhelmingly pointed to Spectrum
Defense as the #1 priority of the League.  The ARRL takes this priority
seriously.  For the maximum impact, the FCC needs to hear from ARRL
members across the country to underscore the importance of 60 meters in
our densely populated region on the eastern seaboard situated between
active hurricane zones and our nation’s capital of Washington, DC. The
Gulf States where hurricanes have had catastrophic effects on
communication systems, and the Pacific Northwest, where the predicted
Cascadia Earthquake is a daily threat.  Having a consistent band plan
with Canada will also ensure harmonious communications throughout most
of North America.

PLEASE support the ARRL’s filing in this matter.

To learn more about the NPRM and its impact on our 60-meter privileges,
please visit . On this webpage you
will find the links to file comments with the FCC.

Please do not delay.  A substantial response from the Ham community
before the October 30 deadline is the only way to forestall the loss of
our valued operating privileges.  Please urge your fellow Hams to file
comments as well.  Protection of our Amateur Radio spectrum is our
number one priority.

73 de

Mike Ritz W7VO
Northwestern Division Director

Mark J. Tharp KB7HDX
Northwestern Division Vice Director