VP8 for Falklands and VP0 for South Georgia, South Sandwich and BAT – MercoPress

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Amateur radio call sign: VP8 for the Falklands and VP0 for South Georgia, South Sandwich and BAT

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 – 18:10 UTC

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It is proposed that the Falkland Islands Communications Regulator will administer these licenses on behalf of the governments of the British Antarctic Territory and the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.

Due to an administrative error in the new Falkland Islands Communications Ordinance implemented in 2017, the new VP8 licenses for use in the old Falkland Islands dependencies have not been available for a few years.

This has caused considerable difficulty for major DX expeditions and others wishing to operate from these remote areas, including the recent VP8PJ South Orkneys operation.

After several months of protracted negotiations with Ofcom (the British equivalent of the FCC), the communications regulator for the Falkland Islands and the governments of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the British Antarctic Territory, there was a major breakthrough and Ofcom finally authorized the use of a new prefix for these old Dependencies as a solution to this oversight.

The new prefix is ​​VP0 (Victor Papa Zero) and once the legislation is enacted in the near future it will be applied to the two British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and to the British Territory of Antarctica. The existing VP8 prefix will then apply exclusively to the Falkland Islands only.

The new VP0 prefix will apply to the following DXCC entities:

1. Area claimed by the British of the Antarctic continent, including the Antarctic Peninsula and neighboring islands
2. South Orkney Islands
3. South Shetland Islands
4. South Georgia
5. South Sandwich Islands

It is proposed that the Falkland Islands Communications Regulator administer these licenses on behalf of the governments of the British Antarctic Territory and the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. It is also proposed that licenses under the new prefix will be assigned only three letter suffixes (as opposed to the more usual method of assigning first codes with one or two letter suffixes). For example, VP8yz would be reassigned as VP0xyz, not the expected VP0yz. The reasons for this rather strange proposal remain unclear, given the very small number of active stations from these regions. In the meantime, all existing VP8 codes as previously assigned under the old Falkland Islands Communications Ordinance for use in old dependencies (such as VP8PJ) remain valid until the associated licenses are revalidated. and assigned new VP0 codes.

For more details, see the draft policy available for download on the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands website at:
https://www.gov.gs/amateur-radio-licences-policy-consultation/
Members of the amateur radio community are invited to comment on the draft policy and have until October 18 to do so via a link on the webpage.

No information on this is currently available on the websites of the British Antarctic Territory Government or the Falkland Islands Communications Regulator.
For more details, https://www.openfalklands.com/amateur-radio-call-sign-allocation-for-british-antarctic-territory-south-georgia-and-south-sandwich-islands


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