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Working Paper

Deregulating Personal and Amateur Radio

Alex Felker and James Brown.  

OSP Working Paper 6 (Aug 1981) calls for much greater flexibility in the regulation of personal radio. The authors argue that such flexibility can be an important contributor to the achievement of personal radio's goals. They point to a number of current FCC regulations that may inhibit the achievement of these goals.

Specifically, they suggest deregulation or liberalization of the following regulations: (a) restrictions that may inhibit new technologies, like spread spectrum modulation and trunking, in both the PRS and the amateur service; (b) certain restrictions on amateur repeater operations; (c) certain restrictions on amateur third-party messages; (d) mandatory technical standards for PRS equipment; and (e) CB licensing.

Moreover, they suggest a type-acceptance criterion for 900 MHz personal radio based solely on in-band and out-of-band power emission limits. This criterion would permit simultaneous use in the new band of technologies as (a) conventional voice, (b) computer-to-computer links, (c) electronic mail, and (d) video.

They also suggest (a) strengthening amateur radio's technological orientation, (b) consideration of a code-free VHF amateur license for technically qualified applicants, (c) expanded HF operating privilefes for Technician Class amateurs, and (d) allowing some amateur operations on 27- and 900-MHz PRS frequencies. Finally, they recommend that recreational and hobby uses for personal radio have explicit recognition in the rules.

Issued: August 1981
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