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Proposed Rule

Amateur Service Rules

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Federal Communications Commission.


Proposed rule.


This document proposes to amend the amateur radio service rules to facilitate the use of spread spectrum communications technologies. The effect of this action is to enhance the usefulness of the amateur service rules by making them conform with other Commission rules, thereby eliminating licensee confusion when applying the rules to amateur service operations.


Submit comments on or before June 14, 2010 and reply comments are due June 28, 2010.


You may submit comments, identified by WT Docket No. 10-62; FCC 10-38, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Federal Communications Commission's Web Site:​cgb/​ecfs/​. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by e-mail: or phone 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.

For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

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William T. Cross, Public Safety and Critical Infrastructure Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-0680, TTY (202) 418-7233.

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This is a summary of the Federal Communications Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (NPRM), WT Docket No. 10-62, FCC 10-38, adopted March 11, 2010, and released March 16, 2010. The full text of this document is available for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC Reference Center, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. The full text may also be downloaded at: Alternative formats are available to persons with disabilities by sending an e-mail to or by calling the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

1. The Commission initiated this proceeding to amend the part 97 Amateur Radio Service rules to facilitate the use of spread spectrum (SS) communications technologies. The Commission found that one of the purposes of the amateur service is to contribute to the advancement of the radio art and that the use of amateur service spectrum to experiment with SS communication systems is consistent with the basis and purpose of the amateur service. Specifically, the Commission proposed in this NPRM to amend the amateur service's SS rules to (1) eliminate the automatic power control requirement applicable to stations that transmit SS emissions and (2) reduce the maximum transmitter power output amateur stations may use when transmitting SS communications from one hundred watts to ten watts peak envelope power.

I. Procedural Matters

A. Ex Parte Rules—Permit-but-Disclose Proceeding

2. This is a permit-but-disclose notice and comment rulemaking proceeding. Ex parte presentations are permitted, except during the Sunshine Agenda period, provided they are disclosed as provided in the Commission's rules.

B. Comment Dates

3. Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, interested parties may file comments on or before June 14, 2010, and reply comments are due June 28, 2010.

4. Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS:​ecfs2/​ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal:

5. Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

6. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

  • All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.
  • Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
  • U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554.

People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

7. This document does not contain proposed information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any proposed information collection burden “for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees,” pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

II. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

8. The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires an initial regulatory flexibility analysis to be prepared for notice and comment rulemaking proceedings, unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.” The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. A “small business concern” is one which: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business Administration (SBA).Start Printed Page 27273

9. In the NPRM, we propose to amend the amateur service rules to eliminate the requirement that an amateur station transmitting a SS emission must automatically use APC to reduce the transmitter power when the station transmits with a power greater than one watt and to reduce from one hundred watts to a peak of ten watts the transmitter power output that an amateur station may transmit when the station is transmitting a SS emission.[1] Because “small entities,” as defined in the RFA, are not persons eligible for licensing in the amateur service, this proposed rule does not apply to “small entities.” Rather, it applies exclusively to individuals who are the control operators of amateur radio stations. Therefore, we certify that the proposals in this NPRM, if adopted, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

III. Ordering Clauses

10. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

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List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 97

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Federal Communications Commission

Marlene H. Dortch,


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Proposed Rules

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 97 as follows:

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1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 48 Stat. 1066, 1082, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 154, 303. Interpret or apply 48 Stat. 1064-1068, 1081-1105, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 151-155, 301-609, unless otherwise noted.

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2. Section 97.311 is amended by removing paragraph (d).

3. Section 97.313 is amended by adding paragraph (j) to read as follows:

Transmitter power standards.
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(j) No station may transmit with a transmitter output exceeding 10 W PEP when the station is transmitting a SS emission type.

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[FR Doc. 2010-11386 Filed 5-13-10; 8:45 am]