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RAC Bulletin 2012-010E – Good News from WRC12 – A New Band at 600 metres.

At its Plenary meeting held 14 February 2012 in Geneva the World
Radiocommunication Conference approved a new secondary frequency
allocation to the Amateur Radio Service at 472 to 479 kHz. Having
passed First and Second Readings it is normally a formality that this
change be included in the WRC-12 Final Acts when the Conference
concludes February 17th. The Table of Frequency Allocations would then
be amended accordingly.

The new band at 600 metres will represent the return of amateurs to
the medium waves – an area of spectrum we have not had access to since
the earliest days of radio regulation.

As a secondary user, amateur radio shares 472 – 479 kHz with the
Maritime Mobile Service who are the primary user in all three ITU
Regions and with the Aeronautical Radionavigation Service who are a
Secondary user except as noted in the following.

The new allocation to the amateur service is accompanied by several
footnotes including, i) a number of countries will identify their
intent to elevate the status of their Aeronautical Radionavigation
Service to Primary as a step in ensuring protection from secondary
users, and ii) the power which radio amateurs may use in 472 to 479
kHz will be limited to 5 watts (e.i.r.p.) except for amateur stations
within 800 km of the borders of a number of countries – principally
Russia, many of the former Soviet bloc and the Arab states. For those
affected amateurs the limit will be 1 watt.

It is, of course, up to individual administrations to authorize use of
the band by their amateurs. In the case of Canada, it seems certain
that such authorization will be forthcoming; however, the process
which has to be followed may take some time.

Canadian radio amateurs have played a central role in arriving at this
successful outcome. The documents submitted through the ITU in support
of this allocation were largely authored by Canadian amateurs – as was
the important work done in assessing the efficiency of the antennas
radio amateurs would likely use. Canadian amateurs have been present
at ITU meetings in Geneva since 2009 to advance the cause of this
allocation. Our regulator, Industry Canada, has been outstanding in
their support of our work and in ensuring today’s success. Finally,
our colleagues in the IARU, ARRL, RSGB, and DARC have all played major

Bryan Rawlins, VE3QN
Amateur Representative on the WRC12 Canadian Delegation


Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ
Pointe-Claire, Québec
RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor

* * * *

RAC Bulletin 2012-008E – Amateur of the Year for 2011

The RAC Board of Directors takes great pleasure in announcing the selection of Dr. Cezar Trifu, VE3LYC of Kingston, ON as the Canadian Radio Amateur of the Year for 2011.  Dr. Trifu exemplifies the Canadian Amateur with numerous IOTA DXpeditions since 2008 covering Canadian Islands and recently overseas islands. He has raised the profile of Canadian Amateur operations world-wide with thousands of QSOs with DXCCs covering over six continents. His dedication to HF operations has been recognized with the DXCC Honor Roll, IOTA Honour Roll, IOTA Gold Level Awards, Canadian Islands Award and US Islands Award to name a short list of numerous awards.  Cezar has also raised the national and international awareness of the Canadian Amateur scene with over twenty multi language articles in several amateur journals.

A presentation will be made to Dr. Trifu in the coming weeks with an article and more on his nomination to appear in the May-June 2012 issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine.

Paul Burggraaf, VO1PRB
RAC Corporate Secretary


Vernon Ikeda – VE2MBS/VE2QQ
Pointe-Claire, Québec
RAC Blog Editor/RAC E-News/Web News Bulletin Editor

Agenda Item 1.23 Passes Committee, Moves to Plenary.

On the afternoon of Tuesday, February 7 (Geneva time), Committee 4 of the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) approved Option 1 to satisfy Agenda Item 1.23, with minor editorial amendments to the text received from Working Group 4C. Option 1 calls for a worldwide secondary allocation to the Amateur Service at 472-479 kHz, with a power limit of 1 W EIRP, with a provision for administrations to permit up to 5 W EIRP for stations located more than 800 km from certain countries that wish to protect their aeronautical radionavigation service (non-directional beacons) from any possible interference. Option 2 was NOC (no change to the current rules).

In keeping with the rules of the Conference, Committee decisions must be read twice in Plenary session; the decision of the Conference is not final until after second reading in Plenary. According to ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, quite a few additional administrations — mainly in the former Soviet Union and Arab states — will be adding their country names to the Footnotes prior to consideration in Plenary.

Iran proposed that the 800 km distance be changed to 2000 km, and have this cited in a Footnote, but there was no support. Both CEPT and CITEL, along with the Netherlands, opposed this change. Colin Thomas, G3PSM, is the CEPT spokesman and ARRL Technical Relations Specialist Jonathan Siverling, WB3ERA, is the spokesman for CITEL.

Footnotes offer an administration (a country) to “opt out” of the decision of a WRC, creating an exception to the table of frequencies in the Radio Regulations. For example, a country may say that it will not use a certain service in a portion of the spectrum that has been designated for that service by the WRC. Therefore, a footnote is created in the Radio Regulations for that portion of the spectrum, indicating a designated use is not available in that country, even though it may be available in many other parts of the world.

“Another issue we have been following closely is the introduction of allocations for HF oceanographic radars, which is Agenda Item 1.15,” Sumner said. “It is now clear that there will be no impact on amateur allocations, including the 5 MHz channels we are allowed to use in the US”.

Agenda Item 1.15 deals with oceanographic radar. “One of the candidate bands for the placement of oceanographic radar is 5.250-5.275 MHz,” explained IARU Secretary Rod Stafford, W6ROD. “There have been a number of administrations that have granted amateurs access to spectrum around 5 MHz. In fact,one of the bands listed by IARU as a spectrum requirement for a future allocation is 5 MHz. If oceanographic radar is operating in the 5.250-5.275 MHz band, that may impact the ability of the amateurs to obtain an allocation in that area”.

One of the responsibilities of each WRC is to set the agenda for the next Conference; WRC-12 delegates will therefore set the agenda for WRC-15. “Proposals for agenda items for WRC-15 are still in a state of flux,” Sumner explained, “so there is as yet nothing concrete to report. The agenda item for an amateur allocation around 5300 kHz is still alive, but a positive outcome is by no means certain”.

VIA the ARRL Web site.

Special WRC Report Number Two

[IARU-R2-News 160] Special WRC Report Number Two

The procedures used by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) before and during a World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) seem complicated. They are somewhat complicated but they are understandable with a bit of background.

Each agenda item that will be decided at a WRC has been studied for at least 3 or 4 years leading up to a WRC. ITU Working Parties discuss the issues involved in the agenda item. Compatibility studies, sharing studies, experiments, etc. take place whenever needed so that discussions and decisions can be made based upon facts rather than opinions. Within a year prior to the start of a WRC an important meeting called the Conference Preparatory Meeting (CPM) occurs. The CPM report pulls together all of the information dealing with each of the agenda items and sets forth the various ways, if there is more than one, that an agenda item can be satisfied or decided. By the time of the CPM, most all of the arguments in favor of the agenda item and opposed to the agenda items have been thoroughly discussed in the many meetings that take place regarding each agenda item. When a national administration arrives at the WRC, decisions have generally been made by that administration whether to be in favor or opposed to any particular agenda items. However, it is usually not that clear cut. Some administrations may be in favor if certain adjustments or modifications are made to one or more of the proposed methods to satisfy the agenda item. In other words, discussions and negotiations really get started during the earlier stages of the WRC. For example, Administration X may withhold support or opposition on a specific proposal until other administrations agree to support Administration X.s position on other agenda items that Administration X is very interested in.

At the beginning of the WRC, each agenda item is assigned to a Sub-Working Group (SWG) to allow interested administrations and other interested attendees the opportunity to discuss the agenda item. This is the stage where most of the negotiations and compromises are made in order to arrive at a consensus as to how to decide the agenda item. The preferred way is to have a consensus by the SWG attendees. Many times the consensus is achieved by all parties realizing that the result may very well turn out to be a situation where “everyone is a little bit unhappy”.

The flow of the work is that the output of the SWG goes to the Working Group level. After the WG (WG)level deals with the issue it moves to the Committee level. By the time the issue gets to the Committee level, revisions to the work done at the lower levels is generally not done. Once the agenda item passes the Committee level, it goes to the Plenary for two readings. If it passes the two readings the agenda item appears in the Final Acts of the WRC.

There are also times when a consensus by ALL parties is just not possible. An agenda item can move from the SWG stage to the Working Group stage where most administrations have reached a consensus on how to resolve the issue but there are still some administrations that are in favor of No Change (NOC).

Agenda Item 1.23. In the case of agenda item 1.23, there was a good deal of support among administrations at the SWG level for a secondary allocation to amateur radio just below 500 kHz. However, there was strong resistance by several administrations to the allocation based upon a stated concern that amateur operation in that portion of the spectrum could cause interference to Non-Directional Beacons. SWG 4C3 (the SWG dealing with agenda item 1.23) met 12 times over a period of ten days trying to arrive at a consensus on 1.23. Finally, a consensus was achieved on the issue by adding various footnotes dealing with the allocation that satisfied most of the administrations opposing the allocation. At the end of the day, there were still a couple of administrations opposing the allocation. As a result, the SWG elevated the issue to the Working Group level with 2 options to satisfy the agenda item:

1) a secondary allocation to the amateur service in the band 472-479 kHz with certain operating conditions set forth in footnotes to the allocation, or

2.) No Change (in other words, no amateur allocation).

The proposal that has been agreed to by most administrations that support the amateur allocation calls for a worldwide secondary allocation to the amateur service at 472 to 479 kHz with a power limit of 1 watt e.i.r.p., but with a provision for administrations to permit up to 5 watts e.i.r.p. for stations located more than 800 km from certain countries that wish to protect their aeronautical radionavigation service (non-directional beacons) from any possible interference. Proposed footnotes provide administrations with opportunities to opt out of the amateur allocation and/or to upgrade their aeronautical radionavigation service to primary if they wish to do so. In addition to these protections for aeronautical radionavigation, the amateur service must avoid harmful interference to the primary maritime mobile service.

At the Working Group meeting, there was no shifting of positions so the matter was elevated to the next level to Committee 4 with the same 2 options. The Committee 4 meeting takes place on Tuesday, 7 February. I will report on the results of that Committee 4 meeting but based upon the results thus far, I am cautiously optimistic that the amateurs will have a new secondary allocation at 472-479 kHz.

Agenda Item 1.15. Another agenda item being carefully watched by the IARU is agenda item 1.15 dealing with oceanographic radar. One of the candidate bands for the placement of oceanographic radar is 5.250 to 5.275 MHz. There have been a number of administrations that have granted amateurs access to spectrum around 5 MHz. In fact, one of the bands listed by IARU as a future allocation is 5 MHz. If oceanographic radar is operating in the 5.250-5.275 MHz band, that may impact the ability of the amateurs to obtain an allocation in that area. The candidate bands have not been finalized as yet at the WRC.

Rod Stafford W6ROD
IARU Secretary – Region 2




Ron McFayden, assistant Section Manager for the Yukon,

has advised that Terry Maher, VY1AK, has accepted the

position of Section Emergency Coordinator-Yukon.

Terry has been active with the Yukon Emergency Measures

Organization for some time and is also an active member

of the Yukon Amateur Radio Association.

Paul Giffin
Section Manager British Columbia Yukon
Radio Amateurs of Canada.