New Amateur Radio Bands Available Following UTC Notification
Friday, September 15, 2017 | Comments

New FCC rules permitting fixed amateur radio operations in 135.7 – 137.8 kHz (2,200 meter) and 472 – 479 kHz (630 meter) bands adopted in March became effective Sept. 15.

These bands are allocated to the amateur radio service on a secondary basis. The commission adopted a minimum horizontal separation distance of 1 kilometer from power line carrier (PLC) systems, which operate in the 9 – 490 kHz range. Amateur operators must notify the Utilities Technology Council (UTC), which maintains a database of PLC systems, of their intent to operate in the 135.7 – 137.8 kHz and/or 472 – 479 kHz bands prior to commencing operations.

Amateur licensees planning to operate in the bands must use the online form at http://utc.org/plc-database-amateur-notification-process/ to provide relevant information. UTC will respond via email regarding whether the proposed site is within 1 kilometer of a PLC system operating in the same or overlapping frequencies and will request that the amateur operator acknowledge receipt of the response. UTC may telephone amateur operators from whom no acknowledgment is received.

Amateur operators may commence operations in the bands if UTC does not respond within 30 days, or if UTC responds sooner that the proposed site is not within 1 kilometer of a PLC system operating in the same or overlapping frequencies. They may not commence operations if UTC responds that the proposed site is within 1 kilometer of a PLC system operating in the same or overlapping frequencies, but they may submit a notification to propose a different site.

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