Who are we?
A number of new and old amateurs alike have asked; Who are the frequency coordinators? Why do we coordinate spectrum and frequencies? What do frequency coordinators do? and Why is it important to support frequency coordination?
The Western Washington Amateur Relay Association (WWARA) is a nationally recognized frequency coordination organization who coordinates the use of amateur spectrum in western Washington to minimize interference between and amongst amateur operators. The WWARA was formed in 1976 and is a members of the Mid America Coordination Council and the National Frequency Coordinators Council. We have gone from a one man record keeping operation to an organization of peers, supported by our peers and acknowledged by our local FCC office as the only recognized frequency coordinator in our area.
The WWARA is a public non profit organization. We hold open meetings six times each year. These meetings are held in public places, and any interested party is welcome to attend these meetings. We are incorporated in the state of Washington and operate with a set of bylaws and written coordination policies. Our board of directors and officers are elected at an annual meeting from our peers.
Frequency coordination groups such as the Western Washington Amateur Relay Association, Oregon Region Relay Council, IACC and the British Columbia Amateur Repeater Coordination Council act in behalf of all amateur radio operators, to compile data bases of relay operation. We then act as a clearing house to suggest frequencies, locations, power, antennas, tones and any other parameter to all requests to ensure operation of relay stations as interference free as possible. In addition we attempt to bring amateurs engaged in interference disputes together and mediate differences.
The amateur radio frequency spectrum allocation is a fragile and finite resource. With the explosion of new amateur radio operators using our allocated spectrum we have more and more incentive to conduct cooperative operation between not only individual amateur radio operators, but amateur relay stations (repeaters). The WWARA provides the local vehicle to accomplish this keeping the needs and desires of the amateurs in western Washington in focus.
Experience has determined that the coordination of relay systems is essential to maximize the finite spectrum resources allocated to amateur radio and minimize interference between systems in our area and adjacent areas. With the reduced presence of the FCC, more and more problem solving will be required by your frequency coordination associations. The FCC, ARRL and the regional/local frequency coordinators are working on plans for a National Frequency Coordinators Council (NFCC). The FCC and the NFCC are working together to change Part 97 to require all relays systems to be properly coordinated. The relays systems coordination status will become the key in resolving interference issues. Your continued support of our band plans and especially frequency/spectrum coordination councils such as the WWARA and NFCC is essential to our mutual enjoyment of amateur radio.