ARRL to Oppose Proposal to Eliminate 3.3-3.5 GHz Amateur Allocation

At its December 12 open meeting, the FCC will consider adopting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes to remove the amateur radio 9-centimeter allocation at 3.3–3.5 GHz. ARRL plans to comment in opposition to the proposed action.1

This NPRM, which threatens our use of the 24 non-shared channels on 3.4 Ghz in our RF mesh network (AREDN)—along with other Amateur Radio use of this band—is the result of the MOBILE NOW Act, reintroduced to the 115th congress by U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, on January 3, 2017, and ultimately signed into law by President Trump on March 23, 2018.

According to an FCC “Fact Sheet,” the proceeding WT Docket 19-348, “Facilitating Shared Use in the 3.1–3.55 GHz Band,” is a follow-on from the MOBILE NOW Act, approved by the 115th Congress, which requires the FCC and the US Department of Commerce to make available new spectrum for mobile and fixed wireless broadband use. It also requires the FCC to work with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to evaluate whether commercial wireless services and federal incumbents could share spectrum between 3.1 and 3.55 GHz.2

The MOBILE NOW Act—discussed in a U.S. Senate Committe on Commerce, Science, & Transportation press release—is intended to “[boost] the development of next-generation gigabit wireless broadband services, including 5G, by ensuring more spectrum is identified for private sector use”3 and includes numerous amendments focused on unlicensed spectrum and meeting consumer demands for telecommunications services.

Also on the FCC’s agenda for it’s December 12th meeting is consideration of an NPRM in WT Docket 19-138 which could affect the amateur radio 5-centimeter allocation from 5.650–5.925 GHz. “ARRL also will file comments opposing any changes affecting the 5-centimeter amateur allocation.”4

The legislation and NPRMs discussed in this article should serve as a reminder to Amateur Radio Operators of the importance of joining the ARRL and contributing to the Spectrum Defense Fund; in the United States ARRL is the only voice of advocacy we have for our hobby.


  1. “ARRL to Oppose Proposal to Eliminate 3.3–3.5 GHz Amater Allocation”, ARRL the national association for Amateur Radio, accessed December 1 2019, http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-to-oppose-proposal-to-eliminate-3-3-3-5-ghz-amateur-allocation. [return]
  2. “ARRL to Oppose Proposal to Eliminate 3.3–3.5 GHz Amater Allocation”, ARRL the national association for Amateur Radio, accessed December 1 2019, http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-to-oppose-proposal-to-eliminate-3-3-3-5-ghz-amateur-allocation. [return]
  3. “President Signs MOBILE NOW Act, Other Key Technology Bills into Law”, U.S. Senate Committe on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, accessed December 1 2019, https://www.commerce.senate.gov/2018/3/president-signs-mobile-now-act-other-key-technology-bills-into-law. [return]
  4. “ARRL to Oppose Proposal to Eliminate 3.3–3.5 GHz Amater Allocation”, ARRL the national association for Amateur Radio, accessed December 1 2019, http://www.arrl.org/news/arrl-to-oppose-proposal-to-eliminate-3-3-3-5-ghz-amateur-allocation. [return]