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New Canadian Band Plan

August 26, 2008

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RAC has released the new Canadian band plan and it can be found here.  There are some significant changes as there have been attempts to align better to the new US and the regions 1 & 2 IARU band plans. Some of the key changes include:

  • Allowing the mix of modes in the same band segment. For example, CW is now permitted (along with phone) between 7050 to 7080 kHz, which previously had been reserved only for phone.
  • With the mix of modes comes some rights to prioritizing a mode. For example, between 7040 to 7060 kHz, the priority is for intercontinental SSB.
  • The introduction of the ‘centres of activity’, which includes QRP, IOTA and emergency centres. For example, 7090 kHz is a SSB QRP centre.
  • The edges of some of the mode subbands have been widened. For example, on 80m SSB can now start at 3600 kHz.
  • Contest preferred segments. For example, 14025 to 1460 kHz preferred for CW contests.
  • DXpedition priority segments. For example, 14190 to 14200 kHz has DXpedition SSB priority.

There has been some progressive changes and I am pleased with what I see so far.  In particular the 40m band has been better arranged in my opinion which always seemed a little ‘out of tune’ with US band plan.

With such significant changes there will be critics and Bob, VA3QV, has been reporting what he has heard on the air about this on his blog. It appears that much of the criticism is focussed on the selection of the ‘centres of activity’ on well established net frequencies (see towards the middle of this post for information).

If you are a Canadian amateur, or operate in Canada, the new band plan is essential reading.  If you are outside Canada it is useful to take a look at the band plan to better communicate with Canadian amateurs.

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