This diversity is written into the rules that govern amateur radio. Part 97 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, lists five purposes for ham radio. It reads:
97.1 Basis and purpose.
The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.
(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill.
In other words:
- The Amateur Radio Service is a public service because it is capable of providing emergency communications.
- Amateur radio operators make valuable contributions to developments in electronics technology.
- Amateur radio is a valuable hobby, enabling participants to improve their operating skills and technical knowledge.
- The Amateur Radio Service helps provide the nation with trained technical people that the country needs.
- Because radio knows no borders, amateur radio operators are in a unique position to enhance international goodwill.