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Why Should CW/RTTY Ops Care About ARRL RM 11708 / FCC Docket 16-239 NPRM?

Why Should CW/RTTY Ops Care About ARRL RM 11708 / FCC Docket 16-239 NPRM?

The FCC has recently announced a Notice of Proposed Rule Making, RM 11708 / Docket 16-239 NPRM, which will have significant implications for those amateur radio operators who enjoy CW and RTTY modes. The impetus for this proposed new rule was a petition from ARRL (2013) that all RTTY and data transmissions below 29.7 MHz be limited to a maximum bandwidth of 2.8 kHz.

In their response to ARRL’s petition, FCC has stated that,

“We decline, however, to propose to add a 2.8 kilohertz bandwidth limitation for RTTY and data emissions in the MF/HF bands as requested by the ARRL Petition.”

FCC further states that,

“We tentatively agree that a baud rate restriction has become unnecessary due to advances in modulation techniques, and no longer serves a useful purpose. Our rules do not impose a symbol rate limit on data emissions in any other amateur bands or in any other radio service. In addition, removing the baud rate restriction could encourage individuals to more fully utilize the amateur service in experimentation and could promote innovation, more efficient use of the radio spectrum currently allocated to the amateur service, and the ability of the amateur service to support public safety efforts in the event of an emergency…”

What does this mean for CW and RTTY operators?

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