Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to the questions most asked of NESMC. You can also find additional information in our documents section.

What does a frequency coordinator do?

There is a common misperception in the amateur community that frequency coordinators are "in charge of" the amateur bands. This simply is not true. The frequency coordinator serves two distinct functions:

  1. When an individual or group wants to install a new repeater, control link, auxiliary link, or other large-user operation on a relevant amateur band, the frequency coordinator carefully researches the request, based on the groups specified power levels, location, and other factors relative to current users on the band. Then suggests, based on the research, a frequency of operation which will not interfere with other existing or proposed installations. The recommendation of the coordinator always comes with a caveat: a new coordination is always in a trial period for six months. This allows for any unanticipated circumstances which end up causing interference. When this occurs, the coordinator can withdraw or modify the original suggested coordination.
  1. The frequency coordinator also maintains a database of existing installations. This database is much more than the simple "repeater directory" listings with which most amateurs are familiar. The coordinator's database contains thousands of entries including control links, auxiliary links, digital-mode operations, and other users on the band. For those modes for which coordination is provided, each entry is marked as to whether it is a coordinated operation, in the trial period, or uncoordinated. In some cases, this data is sent to other parties to help resolve coordination disputes.

It is not the function of the frequency coordinator to arbitrate frequency use disputes. Though the coordinator might assist in the resolution of a problem, it is up to the two parties having the dispute to resolve the issue on their own, or seek an arbitrator such as an official observer (OO) or, as a last resort, the FCC to resolve the problem.

How do frequency coordinators get selected?
When an opening is available, NESMC will publish an announcement on its website and in other public forums for a minimum of thirty days. Any individual eligible as a NESMC member will be considered. Selection is based solely on an individual's experience and abilities as determined by the interview process. Interested individuals should follow the instructions on that page. NESMC will interview qualified applicants and select one. All others will be given an explanation as to how the decision was made.

How do the NESMC directors get elected?
Candidates for NESMC directors are nominated then elected by the general membership at regular NESMC meetings. Any individual who is duly licensed by the FCC and resides in the NESMC service area may become a member.

How many directors directors are there?
There are TWO directors for each ARRL section in the NESMC service area. Directors must reside in the section which they represent.

Why aren't Connecticut and Vermont represented?
NESMC does not provide coordination services in Connecticut or Vermont. These states are serviced by different coordinators. NESMC maintains relationships with these groups and uses their data in providing coordination functions which affect these areas. Likewise, these groups use NESMC data in coordinating repeaters in their areas.