Higher power trial in Australia

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have allowed the trial use of high power trial up to one-kilowatt, with 230 holders of Advance Licences having paid the variance fee to take part.

The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) had lobbied for higher power for many years and put its reasoned case to the ACMA.

The 18-month trial, which began in March 2012 is due to end August 2013, allows the ACMA and the WIA to evaluate any impacts before considering a long term arrangement.

It confines the use of higher power to approved notice of licence variation applicants on the 80m band including the DX window, 7000 to 7100 kHz, and the entire 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m bands.

Some radio amateurs located in defined areas were excluded at the time as they were being used on a trial basis by other sensitive radio communication technologies.

The ACMA has previously baulked at suggestions that higher power be permitted on the grounds of the interference potential. Advocates for it sought a level playing ground mainly during DXing and contests, with many others having more output power.

However a lifting from 500w to 1,000w for radio amateurs in New Zealand, a near neighbour, saw the matter being revisited by the ACMA.

During the trial successful applicants may be required by the ACMA to demonstrate compliance with the relevant exposure to radiation standard, and this is expected to happen in February.