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Amateur Radio and Public Service

Radio ama­teurs con­tribute their com­mu­ni­ty and the world at large in sev­er­al ways.

Fol­low­ing the birth of radio com­mu­ni­ca­tion at the start of the 20th cen­tu­ry, radio ama­teurs were at the lead­ing edge of tech­no­log­i­cal devel­op­ments for many decades. Many of today’s radio com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nolo­gies were first devel­oped by radio ama­teurs. Even today, when radio com­mu­ni­ca­tion is a more mature tech­nol­o­gy, radio ama­teurs still push the fron­tiers of the sci­ence, both in terms of its hard­ware and soft­ware ele­ments and also in the field of radio prop­a­ga­tion research.

An inter­est in ama­teur radio has allowed thou­sands of peo­ple to fol­low reward­ing careers in the high tech­nol­o­gy sec­tor. Ama­teur radio con­tributes to the nation­al skill base and there­by to the eco­nom­ic well­be­ing of the country.

Radio Ama­teurs also have a long tra­di­tion of help­ing their com­mu­ni­ties recov­er in times of emer­gency or dis­as­ter. They do this by pro­vid­ing strong, decen­tralised sys­tems that pro­vide the basic net­work need­ed to bring up the ser­vices now seen as essen­tial by the pub­lic. They can also pro­vide inter­op­er­abil­i­ty links between users of dif­fer­ent radio sys­tems who may not nor­mal­ly work togeth­er like Vol­un­tary Agencies.

Ama­teur radio is sup­port­ed in this by rec­om­men­da­tions from the ITU encour­ag­ing the Ama­teur Ser­vice and the admin­is­tra­tions in each coun­try to devel­op and sup­port Radio Ama­teurs in pro­vid­ing this ser­vice. In turn, the IARU encour­ages shar­ing of infor­ma­tion between Emer­gency Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Groups and also iden­ti­fies fre­quen­cies in the ama­teur spec­trum where emer­gency traf­fic should be passed.

Every coun­try is dif­fer­ent. Some expe­ri­ence nat­ur­al dis­as­ters or emer­gen­cies very fre­quent­ly, oth­ers only rarely. But they hap­pen every­where soon­er or lat­er. Ama­teurs con­duct train­ing in asso­ci­a­tion with their local emer­gency ser­vices. If local reg­u­la­tions allow they may also exer­cise their skills by pro­vid­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Pub­lic Ser­vice events such as long dis­tance runs, walks or triathlons.

Print This Page Updated on January 27, 2020

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