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This page was updated November 09, 2007

John Scott, VE1JS, former Secretary-Treasurer of the the now dormant Canadian DX Association presents a cheque for just over $1,320 to George Gorsline, VE3YV, Defense of Amateur Radio Fund trustee. 

The DARF trust fund was established in 1991 by Bill Loucks, VE3AR, and Tom Atkins,VE3CDM to collect funds to pay for the expenses of a licensed radio amateur to be a member of the Industry Canada delegation at World Radio Conferences and preparatory sessions. The fund was subsequently settled as a registered Trust in the Province of Alberta.

Frequency allocations for all radio spectrum users are decided at these conferences. 
Jim Dean, VE3IQ, has been our representative, explaining and advocating ham radio to delegates from the 168 member countries of the ITU to protect and expand spectrum available for amateur radio. Former members of CanaDX decided donating to DARF was the most fitting disposition of the funds.  

Individual and club contributions to DARF are always welcome. Please send them in care of RAC headquarters. If you have questions on DARF, contact one of the trustees: Dave Snydal VE4XN, Gerry Holm, VE6LB, or George Gorsline VE3YV.

Month long World Radio Conference (WRC-07) begins in Geneva

This will be first of what I hope will be many personal news items from the WRC in Geneva.  I (Ken VE3PU) arrived Saturday the 21st of October, and Jim Dean VE3IQ arrived on Sunday the 22nd in time for the opening ceremonies on Monday the 22nd.

I've picked up my badge admitting me to the big Geneva Conference centre, where most of the meetings will be held. 

Geneva is really a pretty small town, and an invasion for a conference such as this is pretty noticeable. I have already bumped into many old friends from several countries, at the airport, on the street, and in local hotels and restaurants.

I renewed acquaintances with hundreds more at the opening ceremonies. Some are supporters, some are adversaries, but that does not get in the way of personal friendships that have been built up over the past ten years, and which may prove useful in the backroom dealing to come.

Among the over 2500 delegates arriving from some 180 countries around the world are many radio amateurs interested in preserving and extending our privileged access to the radio frequency spectrum. 

The IARU team at this conference, headed by Larry Price W4RA, includes Paul Rinaldo W4RI, Hans Zimmermann F5VKP , Reinaldo Leandro YV5AMH and Ken Pulfer VE3PU,  In addition, Dave Sumner, K1ZZ, and Tim Ellam, VE6SH will join the team for part of the time.

To give you a feel for how important this conference is to us, here are just a few of the other radio amateurs representing their national societies at the conference: 

As you have probably read, the opportunities for amateur radio at this conference are possible new bands at 5 MHz and at 136 kHz, and an expansion of the 40 metre band to 300 kHz world wide. On the other hand, some of the threats include a possible loss of the top 100 kHz in the existing 40 metre band, and a possible decision allowing cell  phone companies in some countries to use all or part of what we think of as our 3 GHz amateur band.  Already, Mexico has submitted a proposal for a 60 metre amateur band, and 22 countries in Europe have submitted a similar proposal. However the vast majority of countries represented here, including Canada and the USA, oppose any such new band. 

Some interesting new proposals for agenda items at the next conference in 2011 are also on the table. These include a new 500 kHz amateur band, an extension of the 50-54 MHz 6 metre band into Europe and Africa, as their analog TV stations are replaced by digital, freeing up spectrum space.  Also under discussion are possible allocations in 2011 in the region between 250 and 1000 GHz, where the IARU has proposed several new amateur bands 

Our public relations effort is already underway. There is a very well written article in the current ITU News bulletin, distributed to all delegates, describing what the amateur radio community hopes to gain at this WRC. There will be a flier in every delegate's mailbox describing amateur radio and what it does for the community. And there is a trailer parked just outside the WRC entrance displaying emergency and disaster communications equipment, manned by two German radio amateurs. The local amateur radio club is putting the special callsign 4U1WRC on the air for the duration of the conference. And to top it all off, the most senior official in the ITU, Dr Hammadoun Toure, the Secretary General , proudly announced in is opening address to the conference that has just acquired his amateur radio licence, with the call sign HB9EHT. It should be an interesting conference.


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