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High Power Trial Ends in August

Date : 10 / 08 / 2013
Author : Phil Wait - VK2ASD

As all participants in the High Power Trial know, it ends on Sunday the 31st of August. At a meeting between the WIA and the ACMA on Monday 5th August, the ACMA told the Institute that the arrangements put in place to authorise the use of higher power will not be made permanent.

Following lengthy discussion, the ACMA agreed to the WIA’s request to re-visit the matter, which could happen as early as next year. Naturally this will be a disappointment to many Advanced licensees, not the least for those who participated in the trial over the past year. The WIA is also disappointed.

The ACMA revealed that its decision was reached after reviewing data it obtained during an assessment process that began back in March this year. According to the ACMA, the trial demonstrated a lack of awareness by some Advanced Licensees of their licence conditions.

Of particular concern to the ACMA were issues related to compliance with electromagnetic energy requirements and that this lack of awareness is not confined to the use of higher power than the 400 watts already permitted. The ACMA said that the results of the trial demonstrate there is a need to raise awareness among licensees of their licence conditions, and that this should not be confined to Advanced Licensees, adding that the ACMA looks forward to working with the WIA to achieve that objective.

It is important to realize that radio amateurs are not being singled out here. Compliance with electromagnetic energy requirements applies to all apparatus licensees, including broadcasting, maritime services and others. The ACMA also remarked on the lack of awareness of electromagnetic energy compliance generally among other licensees.

To address this issue, and to prepare for another approach to the ACMA next year, the Institute has begun implementing plans to promote widespread awareness of the necessary compliance with electromagnetic energy requirements for amateur stations. Electromagnetic radiation is not just a technical issue, it also a political issue among sectors of the community, as you may be aware, and we as licensed amateurs need to be mindful of that.

I would like to thank the members of the Spectrum Strategy Committee for their diligent work over the course of the High Power Trial: Peter Young VK3MV, Doug McArthur VK3UM and Roger Harrison VK2ZRH.



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