Some 106 delegates from 45 organizations around the world came together at the High Frequency Coordination Conference in Paris August 27-31 to plan shortwave frequency usage for the B12 season. During the week-long meeting, delegates heard from speakers including DRM Chair Ruxandra Obreja, Catherine Westcott of the BBC World Service, John Maguire of Radio France International, Allistair Oliver of Sentech (South Africa) and Moritz Steinmann of Thomson Broadcast and Multimedia. In spite of recent cutbacks in shortwave usage by some of the world’s major international broadcasters, the HF bands remain quite crowded and station frequency coordinators have a tough job of finding clear channels and avoiding mutual interference, which is the main activity at the twice-yearly HFCC conferences. Also discussed at the Paris meeting was the idea of an International Radio Disaster Relief project which would provide shortwave channels for special broadcasts in times of natural disasters and other crises in all parts of the world.

Jeff White