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If nothing else, reopening the symbol rate issue will drive all kinds of traffic to QRZ.com as the opposition organizes itself again. Fred, AA7BQ, will be smiling all the way to the bank.

The opposition will cite past efforts by the Winlink (a very poor choice of names that recalls the horrors of Winmodems and Winprinters and ties the system to MS Windows which is apt as apparently its users embrace anything proprietary no matter how encumbered) users and developers to support the abolition of the current HF symbol rate restrictions. I think the only way ARRL can support a new round of symbol rate debate is that the organization must without hesitation and without reservation disavow that it is working on behalf of Winlink in any form. This apparent relationship during the debate over RM-11708 drove (and still drives) as much anti-ARRL sentiment in the QRZ.com forums as it does anti-Winlink sentiment.

In my opinion a new proposal must declare that all protocols be entirely free of patents and restrictive licensing that effectively makes them proprietary. In the FCC's jurisdiction, at least, experimental licenses are available to those who wish to develop proprietary protocols for commercial applications. I see no place for them in amateur radio. Along with more capable SDR designs, protocol implementations must be capable of detecting other HF users, particularly analog users that are most disrupted by digital operations. As so-called AI implementations become more common it should be relatively easy for SDR based protocols to implement an AI interface for effective busy channel detection.

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