Regulations for ‘hams’ ensure licensing, compliance

People who like to spend their
spare time hamming it up on amateur radio can get ready to be tested.

Regulations are now in place for
the 25 people in the Cayman Islands who prefer to chat with each other and
people overseas using amateur radio.

The new regulations will:

Create a scheme for the issuance of
amateur radio licenses by the Information and Communications Technology
Authority to people who have satisfied the ICTA, by way of examination, of their
knowledge and competence with respect to electricity and radio, including
amateur radio apparatus;

Allow for the recognition of
licences issued by the United Kingdom and other countries that have agreed to
grant, with respect to the Cayman Islands, reciprocal amateur radio operating

Ensure compliance with
international standards, including the requirement that amateur radios be
operated without any financial interest;

Minimise the likelihood of
interference caused by, and suffered by, amateur radio operators.

Amateur radio is both a hobby and a
service and participants, often called hams, communicate with fellow amateurs
at home and abroad using a broad range of technologies. 

World-wide, an estimated 2 million
people are regularly involved with amateur radio.

Radio amateurs have a long history
of contributing to developments in radio communication.  Despite the growth in mobile telecommunications
over the last decade, it is radio amateurs who often provide the first links
between stricken communities and the rest of the world, following natural or
man-made disasters.

The regulations were developed in
collaboration with the Cayman Amateur Radio Society, which will administer the
examination for licence applicants. CARS President John Darby said, “We are delighted
that the Governor in Cabinet is circulating these important regulations and
look forward to working with the ICTA to licence amateur radio operators in the
near future.”

“Ham operators can play a pivotal
role in emergency situations, just as they did during and after Hurricane Ivan
when they provided an important communication link between Cayman and the National
Hurricane Centre in Florida,” added the Minister for District Administration,
Works and Gender Affairs, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly. “These new regulations
will ensure that they can continue to provide this important public service, in
accordance with international standards.”