[Boatanchors] ALERT: AM Under Attack - WA3VJB

LM Picard lmpicard at ATTCANADA.CA
Fri Jun 20 21:48:37 EDT 2003

I will try not to inspire too much controversy and this will be my last
post on the subject.
If you do a search on the net you will see that I have long favoured the
idea of opening more spectrum to amateur use.   In particular, the band
plans need revision and more space should be available for phone.   This
includes AM phone.

The FCC does not have jurisdiction beyond the borders of the US, however
one of the beauties of radio waves is the fact they travel freely across
borders.   If you scan the HF bands here in Canada, I would guess that
95+% of  the comms have a US origin.   The same is true in Mexico and
the carribean.   One of the reasons the amateur service is structured as
it is today is because of international agreements and restrictions.   I
believe that US hams are only allowed to make friendly chatter across
borders and not engage in politically sensitive conversations when
contacting foreign stations.

There have been reports that Canadians have complained to our government
about the content of some amateur band transmissions that do not fit
well with Canadian laws regulating hate speech.
It is no secret that the FCC is engaged in auctioning spectrum.

New uses for HF, such as tracking shipments, prevention of automobile
theft and so forth are being develeped.    There has been talk of
utilizing the power grid for broadband Internet distribution, which
could submerge every neighbourhood in an HF radio fog.   Reilly
Hollingsworth is on record as saying that some less developed countries
want to develop long distance telephone systems in the HF spectrum.

If an amateur service is to survive it will have to prove that it is
something more than an opportunity for foreign electronics interests to
sell into the American market for the convenience of appliance operators.

Finally, I congratulate anyone who has managed to interest young people
in anything techincal.   I was very surprised to learn lately that even
computer jock kids may never have seen a soldering iron or have the
faintest idea what it could be used for.

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