In reviewing comments made about the FCC changes, one thing that kept popping 
up was that the FCC allocated more (sometimes much more) space for voice 
operations than was initially asked for.

For example, the original ARRL proposal was for an extra 25 kHz of phone on 75. 
 The original FCC NPRM was for the same.  Many of the comments that I read (and 
I did not read all of them) indicated that of those in favor of this change, 25 
kHz wasn't thought to be enough; most of those that I saw proposed 50, 75, even 
100 kHz more.

No one expected a 150 kHz expansion of phone on 80!

Why?  Or to put it another way, what does the FCC staff know that we don't 
(yet)?

My suspicion... and this is only idle speculation at this point based on an 
extrapolation of the data at hand... is that at some point in the next 6 to 18 
months, the other shoe is going to drop.  Namely, the long awaited and 
anticipated (pro or con) removal of Element 1 as a requirement for HF access.  
(Whether for some or most or all license classes, I have no idea)

So... logic dictates that if you no longer need Element 1 for HF access, you 
have little reason to not give SOME HF access to the current crop of VHF-only 
Technicians, who have passed the same theory as the Tech-Plus (aka Tech w/HF, 
etc., you know what I mean) licenses.  And obviously, giving them CW only 
access when they officially don't know CW would be rather silly.

Catch my drift?  

When they become effective sometime next month, enjoy the extra elbow room on 
75, 40, and 15, my friends, especially you Generals.  I have a hunch that it 
won't be too long until those bands get very, very crowded!  [Now, is that a 
good thing, or a bad thing?  THAT is a different topic of speculation, my 
friends!]

...or am I way off base here?

73, ron w3wn
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