The following letter sent to a Wireless ISP in Wisconsin, who posted it to an open mailing list - on Friday, March 12, 2004. The "laundering" to delete the names of those who sent the note was done by the ISP.

To: Jeremy & other Technicians that this may concern.

Below is a form letter that we have been sending out to the 802.11 regional Internet providers.

This should not affect your area at this time frame, but it is better to be aware of the on goings in the region.




Please route this to your network engineers/ Administrators, This is a proactive notification!

I am writing to inform that a FCC part 97, 802.11b non profit network is being installed in Racine, WI.  This will have a center frequency of channel 2 & 4 and cover the entire city.  You are probably operating under FCC Part 15 unlicensed devices. (Max Power is 4 watts EIRP!)

FCC Part 97 is amateur radio and has the primary band privileges from ch 1-5 and can operate at much higher powers than Part 15 devices going up to 100W AGC with NO antenna restrictions! Meaning we may be outputting several hundred watts EIRP.

I am writing to request that you please stay clear ( or retune if necessary ) away from amateur radio frequencies. Your options would be to retune are Ch 6-11 on the 2.4 GHz band.
  We will be running much higher power than allowed by part 15 devices! 10 Watts or more into an omni directional high gain antenna and will be operating horizontally polarized.  Our SID will be set to HSMM for High Speed Multimedia.  Our call signs will be embedded in the Access points.  There are about 15+ Stations going on the air all over from the south side of Racine to Caledonia. A Milwaukee network is starting to be planned for April....

Please take action to avoid any degradation to your network in Racine, WI and surrounding areas.  Stations are going up as we speak!  We will not be operating on the 5.8GHZ ISM band, at this time so 802.11A would be an option.

Thanks your and Contact me if you have any questions. 


Pertinent Information:

Part 15

If a Part 15 transmitter does cause interference to authorized radio communications, even if the transmitter complies with all of the technical standards and equipment authorization requirements in the FCC rules, then its operator will be required to cease operation, at least until the interference problem is corrected. Section 15.5

Part 15 transmitters receive no regulatory protection from interference.

The needs of Amateur Radio are unique, with hams routinely dealing with signal levels lower than most services consider acceptable. This would be an impossible task for the FCC to manage, and if they did, Amateur Radio might not like the line in the sand the FCC might draw with respect to signal levels. Instead, Amateur Radio gets the best of all worlds when the FCC relies on Amateur Radio to work with the Part 15 manufacturers and operators to voluntarily resolve harmful interference. As seen in much of this article, the ARRL has played a strong role in that process. Individual hams play a strong local role, too. With this, a line has been drawn in the sand against license-exempt Wireless Internet Service Providers operating in the 2.4 GHz band by Amateur Radio Operators and the ARRL and its High Speed Multimedia (ARRL HSMM) group.

Quote: Steve Stroh

My prediction (which I've voiced privately to principals of the HSMM group as a cautionary tale) is that such tactics will backfire badly on Amateur Radio, quite possibly resulting in the loss of privileges in the 2.4 GHz band (or a defacto loss where Amateur Radio privileges in the 2.4 GHz band are changed to effectively be the same as Part 15 rules.) The Amateur Radio Operators that are feeling overly posessive of "their" 2.4 GHz band, will quickly discover... the hard way, that far more serious entities than the occaisonal Wireless ISP are making critical use of the 2.4 GHz band, such as police departments and other government agencies.