OK, so now that the FCC has finally released the "omnibus," which will take 
effect sometime around the middle of November... where do things stand?  

You can't really get a good handle on that by reading the posts on eHam and 
especially QRZ, as the code/no-code and the pro/anti-ARRL groups have sharpened 
their metaphorical hatchets and are going at each other again.

Here's my thoughts on some of  the high points:  
(1) Expanded the phone sub-bands in the 75 and 40 meter bands
Needed because the phone sub-bands on both 75 & 40 where often very crowded 
during "prime time," between fighting off the BC'ers on 40 and the established 
"I own the frequency *burp*" bubba-nets on much of 75.  I hadn't expected that 
big a change on 75, but I think it will pay off in the long run.

How this affects the digital modes remains to be seen.

It also removes the N/T+ CW subbands.  I haven’t seen the explicit language 
specifying what Novice & Tech+ ops are allocated as of the effective date, but 
it appears that they will have the same CW-only allocations as Generals and 
Advanced.  I don’t see this as a bad thing, as the days of the “Novice band” as 
a learning ground have passed --  this is not to say we don’t need to help 
train new hams – we do.  We just don’t need a special “slow code” segment to do 
so (insert obligatory wise crack about slow code here).

(2)  permitted auxiliary stations to transmit on portions of the 2 meter band
Looks like Kenwood finally gets to implement SkyCommand!

(3a) permitted amateur licensees to designate a specific Amateur Radio club to 
receive their call sign in memoriam
(3b) prohibited an applicant from filing more than one application for a 
specific vanity call sign 
There have been some creative end-runs around the intent, if not the letter, of 
the Vanity program.  These changes are needed and should be welcome.  Now, if 
you want someone to get your call after you QSY to a higher frequency, you at 
least have some say in the matter.  And the days of filing 100+ applications by 
one individual for a particular vanity call… that’s not an exaggeration, it’s 
happened… to throw the “lottery” in his/her favor are over.  About time!

(4) eliminated certain restrictions on equipment manufacturers 
The end of the “10 meter amplifier ban” at last!  Well, almost.  

(5) deleted the frequency bands and segments specified for RACES stations
Never understood why they did that in the first place, a long overdue technical 

(6) deleted the requirement for public announcement of test locations and times
Makes it easier to schedule a test session “on the fly” without resorting to 
“public” announcements to meet the legal requirements.

So who loses?

On paper, certain CW and digital ops have less exclusive spectrum to deal with. 
 But in reality, most of the frequency spectrum reallocated to phone on 40 & 75 
have been virtually vacant for years.  Yes, the “CW” bands will be a little 
more crowded, but I suspect not that much.  After all, there hasn’t been that 
much use by those in the N/T+ segment as it is.  Some may become more active 
when moved in with the “mainstream,” at long last, but I suspect will continue 
to (not) operate as they have been prior to the change.

If there’s any other downside, I fail to see it.  I’m sure someone will, 


73, ron w3wn

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