Australian and IARU Band Plans

Late last year, RASA initiated a review of the VK HF Band Plan, with particular focus on digital modes as observations and feedback indicated confusion and unintentional QRM.
The AR community and WIA representatives participated in this review, culminating in two updates to the VK Band Plan; one change to 160m and one change to 40m. 
The final changes were reviewed by the WIA Technical Advisory Committee and received enthusiastic support from the Chair of that committee.  The WIA representative to IARU R3 was instrumental in working with us to ensure these changes were both practical and realistic.
Since that time RASA has updated its one-page band plan and has been actively promoting these changes.  At the EMDRC Hamfest in March, RASA and WIA representatives worked well together to promote the hobby and share information about band plan updates.
In the last two weeks RASA has sought a more active engagement from the WIA to promote the VK Band Plan and recent changes. 
We note that the WIA has recently posted the IARU Region 3 band plan on its website and promoted it on the news.
This has potential to cause confusion.
Many amateurs are unaware of the intricacies of international co-operation, national legislation and national band plans. 
The facts are as follows:

  • ACMA defines the Australian amateur bands via the Australian Spectrum Plan: this is reflected in the LCD; 
  • Australia has a Band Plan which provides guidelines on how we slice the bands up for different transmission modes; 
  • the VK Plan has always been regarded as a “gentleman’s agreement”.  By following the guidelines, we can all operate harmoniously and ensure our use of the bands is efficient;
  • the WIA TAC and RASA have implemented modifications to the 160m and 40m band plans to reflect the increasing use of digital modes; and
  •  the IARU sets guidelines that are adopted at regional levels and individual countries may endeavour to comply, dependent on local legislation.

RASA seeks a collaborative approach to communicating the Australian band plan.  

The IARU Region 3 Plan is not compliant with Australian legislation or local band plans.

This simple table illustrates the differences.  VK Amateurs should not reference the IARU Region 3 band plan as it contains band allocations that are unlawful in Australia.

For more information on the latest Australian Band Plan please visit