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Is Ham Radio a Hobby, a Utility…or Both?

A Battle Over Spectrum Heats Up

I think the Ofcom regulations in UK say it best:

"Amateur radio, sometimes known as ham radio, is both a hobby and a service that uses various types of radio equipment, allowing communication with other radio amateurs for the purpose of self-training, recreation and public service." ISED and FCC both define amateur radio as a service.

I think the more that people whine that amateur radio is "just for me to have fun", "data is ruining my hobby", "it's not like the good old days" etc. etc. ad nauseum, the more we are justifying losing the few little scraps of spectrum we have.

Just yesterday I read that big stock brokerage houses are experimenting with HF data communications as a way to get a few milliseconds advantage over glass fiber. Apparently you can make M$ per day with a few milliseconds advantage. Go figure.

The French government is proposing to take the 2m band for aero-mobile - in other words, for Amazon to deliver packages house-to-house by drone. I can't wait.

If we want to keep our spectrum allocations we need to get a lot more active in demonstrating we can and do provide useful (and free of charge) public service communications in both non-emergency and emergency scenarios. Otherwise that 80m roundtable may have to be via cellphone some day soon.

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