George Gorsline, VE3YV
RAC International Affairs Officer
Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN
RAC Special Advisor at World Radiocommunications Conferences
The Defence of Amateur Radio Fund (DARF) Trust supports the travel expenses of a certified Amateur as a member of the Canadian official delegation to the International Telecommunication Union’s World Radiocommunications Conferences (WRC) and preparatory meetings. This Amateur is nominated by RAC and is focused on issues specific to Amateur Radio on the agenda at the next WRC meeting.
As the WRC is the mechanism that sets international allocations for all users of the radio spectrum, our delegate’s role is to assist our regulator in defending existing Amateur bands from reallocation or harmful sharing by other interests; and, when an opportunity arises, to advocate for new allocations.
Canada is one of a small number of countries that recognizes the value of having a certified Radio Amateur on its official delegation, but does not fund travel and living expenses.
DARF was created by Tom Atkins, VE3CDM (SK) and Bill Loucks, VE3AR (SK) in 1991 to provide that funding. It is administered by RAC to ensure that the funds are disbursed only for the purposes allowed by the Trust:
1) To ensure that there are sufficient funds on hand for the Amateur delegate’s expenses to attend WRC meetings.
2) If sufficient funds are on hand, to also support travel to preparatory meetings when issues directly affecting our frequencies are being debated.
For the past several years Canada’s representative has been Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN, RAC’s Special Advisor at World Radiocommunications Conferences.
In addition to many meetings with our regulator – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) in Ottawa – Bryan attended one meeting at ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in May 2017 and participated remotely in one other in 2016. For more information on the meeting visit: https://www.rac.ca/wrc-preparatory-meetings-may2017/
These meetings focused principally on preparatory work for WRC-19 scheduled for October 2019. Activity in May centred on ensuring that the Amateur Radio Service’s interests are heard with respect to four Agenda items (AI).
1) AI 1.16 which seeks an expansion of Radio Local Area Networks (RLAN) in the 5 GHz range where Canadian Amateurs have a secondary allocation from 5 725 to 5 925 MHz. We are seeking to maintain the Amateur allocation where there is much interest in Mesh networking for emergency communications.
2) AI 1.13 seeks an expanded contiguous allocation for International Mobile Telephony (IMT) – sometimes referred to as 5G. Here we are arguing the case for retaining our exclusive primary allocation at 47 to 47.2 GHz which is within the range being studied for IMT expansion.
3) There has also been work updating the ITU Recommendation on Amateur Radio characteristics for use in band sharing studies. This may allow further consideration of new secondary allocations for Amateurs.
4) Finally, we have listened to and are lending our support to our Region 1 colleagues on their efforts to gain access to 50 to 54 MHz, which we already enjoy in Region 2.
Thank you for your support
It costs a lot to send a person to Geneva to work and live for almost a month, even with discounted airfare and hotel rates. We all experience rising costs and are aware of the loonie’s falling buying power. If you have not contributed to DARF, please consider making a personal donation and also suggest a club donation to DARF at your next club meeting.
Donations of any amount are welcome. Every dollar helps and it only goes to defending and expanding our access to spectrum. We especially thank those clubs and individual Amateurs who have made their DARF contribution an annual event. Special recognition goes to the Ottawa Valley Mobile Radio Club for its two donations of $600 each, and also to Le Club Radio Amateur de Granby for its $600 donation in memory of Robert Leclerc, VA2RPL.
The summary below shows the worrisome trend that donations to support DARF have been less than what is needed to support our delegate. The continued demand for mobile device connectivity means even more pressure on spectrum from large corporate and government interests with deep pockets. This demands a strong Amateur presence at the ITU table to defend the bands we already have – not just the WRC Conference, but also at the preparatory meetings to be part of the discussion.
Defence of Amateur Radio Fund (DARF)
|Donations and income on investments||$2188.72|
Without the funds to work with, we won’t have our voices heard. So once again, please consider a donation. Donations can be sent to RAC Headquarters at the address shown below. Please make the cheque payable to “Radio Amateurs of Canada” and note in the memo field “DARF donation”. Call or email RAC HQ if you wish to donate by other payment methods or have a question on how to donate. For more information visit: https://www.rac.ca/donation/