The Australian Amateur Radio society WIA have requested from the regulator an increase in power levels for Foundation users to 50 watts to enable operators to transmit above RF noise levels.
The WIA say Foundation station signals often struggle to rise above the prevailing RF noise levels experienced both within Australia and by amateurs in other countries. Competing with urban noise levels is exacerbated in mobile situations, particularly on the bands above 30 MHz.
Many commercial transceivers currently available (HF and VHF-UHF) afford operation at the suggested 50 watts power, more so than those that conform to the current permitted power of 10 watts.
The WIA notes that the permitted power for entry level licences varies widely around the world, up to 1500 watts in the case of the US Technician licence.
Australian is possibly unique in adopting 7 character callsigns for its Foundation holders. The WIA is asking ACMA to review this since "a majority of the available range of computer-mediated digital transmission modes cannot accommodate a four-character suffix callsign. If our Foundation licensees are permitted use of digital transmission modes, their callsigns would preclude using them."
The Australian Standard licence is similar to the UK Intermediate. Current Standard licence holders can run 100 watts output, the WIA wish to increase that to 200 watts. For the Advanced licence they would like power increased to 1000 watts.
Read the WIA submission Future Amateur Licence Conditions -