With amateur service issues settled, the national society and IARU team members have either returned or are preparing to return home. The past four weeks have meant long hours spent in meetings, especially the last week where the reading and agreements of final documents continued well into the early hours in order to keep to the period allowed for the conference.
What has been achieved this time around? Almost 10 years after the RSGB first proposed a segment around 500kHz, the amateur service now has a global allocation between 472-479kHz, albeit with restrictions in some parts of the world. An added bonus (and quite unexpected) was the proposal from Cuba for a future agenda item for an amateur service allocation at 5MHz. Once this proposal became known, the full weight of the amateur “mafia” at WRC-12 became active, urging support for this proposal. Even the USA and Cuba were talking to each other in an effort to come to a compromise proposal.
Of course, in the case of 500kHz, many man hours have been spent negotiating at national level, then in the various Regional Telecommunications Organisations as well as ITU Study Groups. It is anticipated that this level of work will continue into the next study period, with the first Conference Preparatory Meeting for WRC-15 taking place immediately after the end of WRC-12 – on Monday and Tuesday of next week. CPM-1 will decide which ITU study groups will deal with each agenda item but it is expected that the 5MHz item, WRC-15 Agenda Item 1.4, will be dealt with within Working Party 5A of Study Group 5.
The Final Acts of WRC-12 should be signed during Friday 17 February and these will come into effect as an international treaty on 1 January 2013. This means that administrations are now free to start allocating 472-479kHz to the amateur service within their own territories.
So, for now, a short respite before the work starts again.