Saturday, February 15, 2014
Revision of the Communications Act
The Communications Act, first written in 1934, created the Federal Communications Commission and outlined rules governing communications as it stood at that time. Over the years it has been amended on many occasions to try to keep up with emerging technologies. The Act was last updated in 1996, when the Internet was still in its infancy.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee has already begun to look into ways to bring the Communications Act into line with the needs of the 21st Century, but Pryor who is chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications said the overall Senate Commerce Committee probably will not be following suit.
Critics of the current Communications Act have said that it creates what they call silos for different type of communications. That they say has posed a problem for new technologies such as Voice over Internet Proytocol phone calls that are transmitted over broadband and other Internet lines.
The House of Representatives effort to rewrite the law is expected to take multiple years, and has only just gotten started. This past January an Energy and Commerce Subcommittee held its first hearing on the issue with five former FCC chairmen in attendance.
source: Bill Pasternak, WA6ITF
HOW TO READ PROPAGATION NUMBERS
The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 1 to 6 is BEST
- 7 to 9 is OK
- 11 or more is BAD
Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.
A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]
- 70 NOT GOOD
- 80 GOOD
- 90 BETTER
- 100+ BEST
The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.
Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
K index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 0 or 1 is BEST
- 2 is OK
- 3 or more is BAD
- 5 is VERY VERY BAD
The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.
A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
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