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Re: LF: Needless restrictions re : Trans Atlantic

To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: LF: Needless restrictions re : Trans Atlantic
From: [email protected]
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2004 21:29:07 EST
Reply-to: [email protected]
Sender: [email protected]
In a message dated 12/28/2004 1:12:26 PM Eastern Standard Time, [email protected] writes:
But "They" have an implicit duty to regulate only for some demonstrable universally desirable purpose...
Many interesting philosophical discussions could arise from this, Bryan, but I fear they would tend to be more off-topic than on, insofar as any of it relates to trans-Atlantic activity.  Logging and license renewal are very different issues from the concept of various services within the electromagnetic spectrum having their own established uses.
If you ask any administration why there are rules regarding permissible communication, they will tell you exactly why.  It is, in effect, to keep the camel's nose out of the tent.  Each service is alloted spectrum based on the service's perceived value and the spectrum's perceived value.  These days, of course, that is skewed by corporate (and sometimes government) greed.  The only thing that keeps the biggest bidders from taking ALL the spectrum is that sound arguments have been made that each existing service serves a sufficiently unique function, and therefore deserves the spectrum it has, at such-and-so price, relative to other users of other spectrum.
The keyword here is "unique."  If the distinctions between services become blurred, that opens up all kinds of questions about the justifications originally offered re: the creation of those services.
An analogy relating directly to the issue of permissible communication is the limitation of third-party message handling in the amateur service.  Even though the telephone and telegraph companies no longer use HF to handle commercial communication, if someone persuaded the regulators to allow use of ham bands for third-party communications other than those of a personal, non-commercial, and (in the words of some regulations) "trivial nature," then we would not only be treading on commercial users' toes, we would be inviting re-examination of the cash value of the spectrum.  Where big money is involved, any camel sticking its nose in the tent risks its life.
I think most of us can see the reasons for rules that keep the amateur service strictly amateur.  The most universally applicable way to do that is by restricting non-emergency communications to...whom?  Other amateur stations exclusively.  (Except sometimes with special authorization, upon showing of good cause, policies for which can vary widely by administration.)
There's a further complication in the US with regard to the Experimental Radio Service.  One needs to remember that an amateur LF band here has already EXPLICITLY been DENIED in a formal rulemaking proceeding.  The current ERS licensees are, it is hoped, providing data that may be useful some day when the matter is considered again.  However, the FCC is understandably reluctant to let this become the amateur service "camel's nose."  If the Part 5 regulations were to be abused, or such authorizations seen as being stretched beyond their original purpose, they would have no choice politically but to give the camel a sound smack.
(This, despite the principal occupant of the tent being the proverbial dog in the manger. The electric utilities have no allocation status and have never paid a cent in user fees for this spectrum, but because of the "criticality" of their Fourth World carrier-current control systems and the Homeland Security implications thereof, they can and do block other users from making their home here.)
In short, US amateur activity at 2200m is a sensitive subject right now, and, I suspect, not something whose future any of us would knowingly risk.
Now, to stray just a little off topic:
In the USA no-one cares whether you keep a log or not. The fabric of society in USA is not exactly crumbling because of the absence of log-keeping rules.
You are more sanguine than I am about the fabric of society in the USA.  8-)
Others might even go so far as to argue that you have cause and effect reversed; namely, that the relaxation of logging requirements is a symptom of decaying in our society.  (Substitute "Morse code requirements" in the preceding sentence, and I absolutely guarantee you would hear such claims.)
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