Terms & Acronyms

Terms & Acronyms
Ionospheric propagation. National Weather Service illustration.

Radio Service
A category or classification of radio use.

Experimental Radio Service (ERS)
A radio service in which radio waves are employed for purposes of experimentation in the radio art or for providing essential communications for research projects. FCC Rule §5.3 includes a list of ERS uses.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The FCC regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

An independent U.S. government agency overseen by Congress, the FCC is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Communications Act. Commercial and noncommercial entities and state and local governments are subject to the Commission's rules.

Stations operated by or for the U.S. Government are administered separately by a Department of Commerce agency, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

High-Frequency Broadcasting (HFBC)
Broadcasting to the public in foreign countries, in the high-frequency (HF) or shortwave portion of the radio spectrum between 3 and 30 MHz. Also called International Broadcasting or Shortwave Broadcasting. Signals in the HF range can propagate worldwide through refraction from the ionosphere.

FCC rule §73.788 prohibits HFBC stations from broadcasting any program solely intended for and directed to U.S. audiences.

Although HFBC is not part of the Experimental Radio Service, ERN will occasionally cover it because some ERS operators seek to migrate to HFBC.

High-Frequency Trading (HFT)
Automated trading that transacts orders with extreme speed.

Spectrum Allocation
The apportionment of frequency ranges or bands in the radio spectrum to radio services. Not to be confused with allotment of frequencies to geographic areas, or assignment of licenses to specific licensees.

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