RAC’s Regulatory Roundup
Dave Goodwin, VE3KG
RAC Regulatory Affairs Officer
Welcome to the “RAC Regulatory Roundup”.
I am RAC’s Regulatory Affairs Officer, elected by the RAC Board in December 2021 to succeed Richard Ferch, VE3KI. Richard has done an excellent job of representing the interests of Canadian Amateurs in the last six years as Regulatory Affairs Officer and in many capacities for several years before then.
Along with RAC’s other representative – including Paul Coverdale, VE3ICV, Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN, Glenn MacDonell, VE3XRA and Serge Bertuzzo, VA3SB – Richard will continue to play an important role in domestic and international regulations in the future. We are very lucky to have someone with Richard’s skills advocating for us with our regulator Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).
I have been a very active Radio Amateur for well over 40 years. Amateur Radio is very important to me and that’s why I am pleased to volunteer my time with RAC. I’ve played various roles in RAC over the years including Atlantic Director and President and I hope to represent your interests well in this new role (see the bio below).
On this page and in the “Regulatory Roundup” column in each issue of The Canadian Amateur magazine, I will provide an overview of our regulatory priorities (see below) and also discuss some topics of interest. For example, in the March-April 2022 TCA the topic is Emergency Preparedness and VHF Gear.
RAC’s Regulatory Priorities: Mid-February 2022
1) RBR-4 update – RAC reviewed ISED’s final draft of the RBR-4 — Standards for the Operation of Radio Stations in the Amateur Radio Service document and provided final comments on January 27. The next release will formalize Amateur access to 630 metres (472 kHz) and the new worldwide 15 kHz allocation at 60 metres that begins at 5351.5 kHz.
We will issue a bulletin and include information on our website as soon as Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) makes an official release.
2) RIC-9 – Call Sign Policy and Special Event Prefixes – RIC-9 – RAC is now preparing a survey to identify the preferences of Canadian Amateurs and ISED is preparing questions for the survey.
3) Entry-level Certificate – RAC is considering a proposal for a new, entry-level Amateur Radio certificate. Adding a new class of Amateur certificate is a complicated matter because it requires changes in regulations. An initial discussion with ISED has been planned for April 21.
4) Enforcement in the Amateur bands – RAC is organizing a team to work with ISED enforcement staff to establish guidelines and best practices for those rare occasions when we need ISED’s intervention.
5) World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23) – Preparations Paul Coverdale, VE3ICV and Bryan Rawlings, VE3QN, have attended numerous virtual meetings of ITU working groups. We have some concerns about agenda items that affect our interests at 1.3 GHz, 10 GHz and with Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) proposals below 100 kHz. Harmonics from these systems could threaten LF, MF and HF Amateur Radio interests.
6) Regulations for the Amateur Satellite Service in Canada – As previously reported in TCA and on the RAC website, there are several university-based CubeSat programs across Canada and some of these seek to use Amateur frequencies.
The Amateur Satellite Service is a separate entity in International Telecommunications Union (ITU) regulations, even though the Amateur Service is closely connected to the Amateur Satellite Service.
Canada has never had regulations for Amateur satellites and this makes licensing Canadian Amateur satellites extremely difficult. RAC has proposals to add regulations and suggestions for licensing procedures and we will share these with ISED on April 21.
7) Update to CEPT T/R 61-01 – RAC has proposed to ISED a clarification to the identification requirements for foreign Amateurs visiting Canada to bring them in line with Canadian call areas.
8) CARAB – On April 21, RAC and ISED will convene a meeting of the Canadian Amateur Radio Advisory Board (CARAB). The agenda is in development and will likely include items 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 in the list of priorities.
I intend to provide regular updates on these and other matters in this column. Please share your thoughts with me and your Regional Director. Please continue supporting RAC and experimenting with and enjoying the Amateur Radio Service. – Dave Goodwin, VE3KG