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Please sign our European Petition for Digital Voice & Internet Access in France opened to all European Citizen witch requests French Government to respect European Directives 1999/5/CE about "essential requirements" and 2009/140/CE about "fundamentals rights", for all French Amateur Service Operators.

Update 1 (July 1st): Due to new ARCEP decision n° 2010-0537 published on June 30th, about operating rules for Amateur Services in France; we have modified our post to have the corrected links and references. This new ARCEP decision doesn't modify the European Petition for Digital Voice & Internet Access in France and complaint to French Minister of Industry.

Reasons for communication on our activity:
DR@F French Society was invited in "Friedrichschafen HAMRADIO Messe" on last Friday June 25th, by Jochen Berns DL1YBL, Thomas Beiderwieden DL3EL, and Ralf Klingler DF6RK as DARC representatives. DR@F met also Darren Storer G7LWT for RSGB, Erik Finskas OH2LAK (Finland), and was asked about the D-STAR situation in France.

Why this post in English?
Because all European countries asked us to have news on real situation for Digital Voice (D-STAR) in France, and why it's still prohibited. European Service Amateur Operators wants to use their own radio in our country. All European countries allow now Digital Voice modes as APCO25, MOTOTRBO, TETRA and D-STAR with Internet access. France is the last country in Europe to prohibit these new technologies. But if you loan frequency to ARCEP for professional use, you can access to Internet and use all Digital Voice technologies. ARCEP should treat all Radiocommunications Services in a equal manner.

Reference documents:

ARCEP's arguments against Digital Voice in France (eg. D-STAR) are:

  1. Internet : ARCEP says protocol specifications could allow Amateur Service Operators to connect their station to Internet that is against the law (art.5 of decision 2010-0537) ==> DR@F says that all stations in any modes or protocol could be connected with a simple PC with sound card. ARCEP should therefore prohibit all Amateur Services activity in France. We have shown to ARCEP in november 2009, that internet access request could be rejected, with simple filtering in system. We didn't do any connection to Internet at all, as many countries could explain today.
  2. National Security: ARCEP makes reference to "essential requirements" (art.4 topic k of decision 2010-0537) and says D-STAR is a potential national security issue (could cause riot, criminal act, and terrorism), because of internet connexions and specific software for communications to be unencrypted ==> DR@F says that European Directive 99/5/CE in reference of "essential requirements" in ARCEP decision, wasn't raised to avoid national security issue but for "radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity". In the same European Directive - Annex I, Amateur Service Operators that are building their own equipment aren't regarded by this law. In the same way, D-STAR is using codes as GMSK modulation, Ethernet CCITT 802.3, CRC-CCITT, FEC G.975, and ETSI GMR1 & GMR2 for AMBE vocoder, that are fully recognized as ITU standards. In fact, there are no encryption and all standards used are in conformity with French laws.
  3. Patent: ARCEP says AMBE vocoder is using patents, licences and proprietary undisclosed specifications that are against art. 1.56 of ITU Radiocommunications Rules. DR@F says patents are everywhere (PC, Windows, DSP software in commercial radios, firmware, etc ...) and all radio using "super-heterodyne" feature should be immediately stopped with all ham-radio activities in France.

NB: If we apply arguments from ARCEP to amateur radio in France, all activities should stop immediately, because of patent of many equipments and potential connexion to Internet.

Now, ARCEP is telling us that "D-STAR and F7W emission designator are now prohibited in a sustainable manner", for all Amateur Service Operators in France. DR@F says that this decision is illegal, because it has been noticed to only few people and should be delivered as a public decision, signed by Prime Minister.

IF WE CAN'T EXPERIMENT ANYMORE, HOW WILL WE PRODUCE A OPEN SOURCE CODEC ?

DR@F sent his last complaint against ARCEP to Minister of Industry (Mr Estrosi), for illegal decision, discrimination, against human right and individual liberty and unequal treatment. We publish here the last answer of ARCEP and our complain, for all Amateur Service Operators in Europe to be aware.

We're calling all European Ham-radio societies to help us in our battle to allow all Digital Voice modes, Internet access and no restrictive experiment in France. Please put this news with picture into your website and contact us here.