ARSFI Board Files FCC Response to Rappaport Campaign

December 5, 2018--Today the ARSFI board filed with the FCC a comprehensive response to the online and media campaign that Theodore Rappaport has been leading to get the FCC to dismiss the pending Notice of Proposed Rule Making (Docket No. 16-239). The proposal would eliminate the current 300 baud limit on HF digital transmissions. The original ARRL proposal would replace it with a 2.8 kHz bandwidth limitation. We're in favor of the NPRM plus the ARRL's bandwidth limit (for now, please read our paper) for many reasons, mostly because the advancement of the radio art is impeded without it, but for most Winlink stakeholders it will allow Pactor 4--finally--in the USA. New, faster and better protocols will be close behind.

Rappaport is spreading unrelated emotional fire, claiming that ARC protocols and similar wide-band connected digital modes and modes that are hard, expensive (or need proprietary hardware, firmware or software) to intercept communications on-the-air need to be removed from the amateur bands. He says these modes encourage crime, terrorism and are a threat to national security. His arguments would have the FCC remove Winlink, D*Star, Fusion, MFSK, and all 'connected' modes not easily intercepted on-air by unskilled operators without a proprietary component in the monitoring equipment—before addressing the 300 symbols/second NPRM. He would set amateurs back 40 years or more with respect to the radio art and digital techniques. We don't have to say how devastating the consequences would be if Winlink and all others using similar modes disappeared from the ham bands.

You can download and read the letter we wrote to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, our response paper, and Rappaport's two recent letters to the FCC. Make your own decision, but make it an informed decision!

If you have a stake in this, we urge you to please immediately file a comment on the ECFS. It's easy: Click here. Time is of the essence. You don't have to write a masterpiece. An 'express' comment that endorses the ARSFI filing is all that's needed.

Also, spread the word. Send a link to this page to all you know who care, especially those you know in leadership positions with emergency management or government agencies, the ARRL, and organizations and agencies that have a stake in Winlink. Let them know, and ask them to take a few moments to put their opinion on the record, or simply say you agree with us with a reference to our filing.

The ARSFI Board of Directors
Winlink Development Team

2018 California Wildfires Update

Greg Kruckwitt, KG6SJT, the Sacramento Valley Section Emergency Coordinator, is interviewed by Amanda Alden on the Ham Nation video podcast. This link takes you to the segment of the show's interview with Greg:

https://youtu.be/qHP-crOn7Ic?t=2722

ITU strengthens 2018 Emergency Telecommunications in the Americas

ITU Logo

From the ITU--September 10, 2018 was an important date. The HR0COP gateway in Honduras began operations. Since then, three more nodes have started operations: On October 9, TI0BCR in Costa Rica; on November 6, HI8COE in Dominican Republic; and, on November 8, TG0CND in Guatemala.

All four gateways are part of the Alternate Emergency Telecommunications network. The network is implementing the Winlink solution (www.winlink.org). Winlink is a technology solution created and maintained by radio amateurs. It has a proven record during emergencies. As recently as 2017, Winlink was extensively used in the aftermath of the high-impact hurricane season in the Caribbean and also after the earthquake in Mexico.

As many good ideas, the idea of ITU and IARU to increase emergency telecommunications capabilities using Winlink ignited from a conversation during a CITEL meeting in August 2017 between Rodrigo Robles, ITU Emergency Telecommunications focal point for the Americas, and César Pío Santos HR2P, IARU Region 2 Emergency Coordinator. From the beginning this idea had the decisive support of Brahima Sanou, BDT Director and Bruno Ramos, Regional Director for the Americas Regional Office. Emergency Telecommunications has been a priority for many years in the Americas Region. In WTDC 2017, it was consensus as a regional initiative for 2019-2022.

Click here to read the entire article with photos and illustrations.

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