Spectrum Defense Fund - Protect the People's Air Waves

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Spectrum Defense Fund - Protect the People's Air Waves

Post by Linnea » 07-09-2005 06:27 PM

ARRL Headquarters - 09 July 05


The League has kicked off its 10th annual appeal to members seeking support
for the ARRL Fund for the Defense of Amateur Radio Frequencies--also known
as the Spectrum Defense Fund. The fund fuels League efforts and activities
that focus on fending off threats to amateur spectrum access. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ, says the current telecommunications environment is more complex and challenging than ever.

"Year after year, ARRL members tell us that representation in Washington and
internationally to protect and strengthen our service is their number one priority," Sumner says in a fund appeal letter thanking members for their past contributions that have helped the League confront spectrum challenges head on. "The results are seldom instantaneous," he pointed out. "Challenges arise that must be addressed patiently, month after month, year after year."

Citing one major victory, Sumner pointed to the 40-meter band improvements
won during World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) that, by 2009, will lead to a wider harmonized band worldwide. Such wins are possible, he said, because the League has "a long-range perspective, developed from protecting, promoting and advancing Amateur Radio for more than 90 years."

Up until the mid-1990s, the ARRL managed to meet the costs of spectrum
defense through a combination of regular revenue sources, including dues and publication sales. But as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) began scheduling more frequent WRCs and the domestic elecommunications climate grew more competitive, the League had to ratchet up its efforts. That meant devoting a bigger piece of the revenue pie toward spectrum defense. The goal of the current fund drive is $230,000 to meet just a part of the demands of representing members' interests in 2005 alone.

In response to the changed environment, the ARRL opened its Technical
Relations Office in Washington, DC, with three full-time professional
technical specialists and increased its support for qualified volunteers
working through the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) to represent
Amateur Radio at ITU meetings around the world. On the domestic front, the
emergence of Broadband over Power Line (BPL) as an interference threat has
upped the workload for the ARRL Laboratory.

As Sumner's appeal points out, Spectrum Defense Fund donations--among other things--enable IARU volunteers to participate in US preparations for WRC-07, where spectrum between 4 and 10 MHz is on the agenda. Because the ARRL is the largest Amateur Radio association in the world, he says, it takes on the lion's share of the financial burden to support the attendance of IARU volunteers at such international gatherings.

In addition, IARU volunteers are working to develop support for Amateur
Radio in Africa and the Arab States, teaching Amateur Radio administration
to telecommunications regulators, representing Amateur Radio at ITU
telecommunications exhibitions, maintaining the IARU Monitoring System and Beacon Project, and coordinating the Amateur Satellite program. They also enable active participation in CITEL--the telecommunications arm of the Organization of American States--which has a growing influence on ITU decisions.

Closer to home, Spectrum Defense Fund contributions cover the costs of
technical studies and evaluations for ARRL filings with the FCC, the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and other
federal agencies. Further, they help the League to maintain peer
relationships with the IEEE and other organizations.

"Whatever your personal area of interest in Amateur Radio, I hope you will
respond with the most generous donation you can manage," Sumner concludes.

"The financial commitment of every ARRL member in our continuing effort to
build a strong presence in Washington and around the world will benefit you
today and in the future."

The ARRL is asking contributors to donate by July 31 via mail or the
League's secure donations Web site <https://www.arrl.org/forms/fdefense/>.

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