Amateur radio operators (hams), like myself, have just received bad news. The Federal Communications Commission has given away the lower half of the 220 megahertz Amateur Radio band (radio frequencies) to commercial users like United Parcel Service.
For many years hams have gladly offered their services for public events and most importantly emergency communications.
In California the loss of these frequencies will permanently destroy the valuable repeater links in the Condor Connection. The Condor Connection is a nonprofit group that maintains mountaintop radio repeaters dedicated to wide area emergency and disaster preparedness. In a major disaster amateur radio operators would be able to communicate from San Diego to the Bay Area using only small walkie-talkie type radios to help move important life-saving efforts to the needed areas. Unfortunately, these 220 Mhz repeater link frequencies have no other bands to move to--thus another Condor may become extinct.
Experts say that our state is due for a major earthquake in the next few years. Ham radio operators could be ready to help everyone if their frequency bands are supported by our government, not undermined by it. With their new radios UPS could improve their efficiency a little--but how many lives will that save?