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No VHF RPU ‘Shipwreck’?

EIBASS says maritime channel proposal appears to have sunk

The Engineers for the Integrity of Broadcast Auxiliary Services Spectrum says its action may have prevented a problem for Part 74 VHF RPU users in coastal areas.

EIBASS consists of 11 engineers who volunteer time to protect BAS spectrum against what they see as risks.

Co-Chair Dane Ericksen noted that in July, an FCC Daily Digest newsletter carried an item seeking comment on recommendations by the Advisory Committee for the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference. The attachment contained a Part 74 item stating that the FCC was proposing 19 maritime coastal station channels, 25 kHz wide, from 161.500 through 161.925 MHz.

“These proposed maritime stations would span the entire 161.625–161.775 MHz portion of the Part 74, Subpart D, Remote Pickup band,” Ericksen stated.

Concerned that an allocation for co-channel maritime coastal stations could cause interference to 161 MHz RPU operations in markets with port operations, EIBASS in August filed comments pointing out the conflict and objecting to the proposed allotment. EIBASS says it was the only party to spot the problem and prepare and file an objection.

The Oct. 28 FCC Daily Digest carried another public notice, again calling for comments on the WARC 2012 Advisory Committee draft recommendations (due Nov. 12 to Docket 04-286). This time, the attachments carried no trace of the previous proposal for 161 MHz maritime stations, according to Ericksen. He isn’t sure why, but figures the commission paid attention to its filing.

“While the FCC WARC working group’s work is under a docketed proceeding, there are no Report & Orders summarizing the positions of commenting parties or giving reasons why the subsequent rulemaking came out the way it did. Instead, one has to wade through many pages of WARC annex and resolution inserts, and try and figure out what is, or isn’t, going on,” according to Ericksen.

“This time 161 MHz RPU licensees got lucky.”

New BAS Group Aims High,” March 2010