The ARSFI board of Directors 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. We're in favor of the proposed rule making--plus the ARRL's suggested 2.8 kHz bandwidth limit--for many reasons, mostly because the advancement of the radio art is impeded without it. For most Winlink stakeholders it will allow Pactor 4 in the USA.
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, 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.
Please visit our web site for full information:
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 use Winlink, you have a stake in this. We urge you to immediately file a comment on the FCC's ECFS. Instructions are available from the link above. Time is of the essence. You don't have to write a masterpiece. An 'express' comment of your opinion about the ARSFI filing is all that's needed.
This is a direct and serious threat to Winlink's existence on the amateur radio bands. Thanks for your support!
Lor Kutchins, W3QA
Amateur Radio Safety Foundation, Inc.
Winlink Development Team