The Radio Regulations Board (RRB) was created by ITU’s 1992 Additional Plenipotentiary Conference in Geneva, which undertook a wind-ranging reform of ITU. It replaced the former
International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB)
, established by the Atlantic City Plenipotentiary Conference in 1947. As part of the 1992 changes, the administrative duties undertaken by the previous IFRB secretariat were moved into the new Radiocommunication Bureau (BR), and the complex tasks of interpreting and monitoring compliance with the Radio Regulations were given to the new RRB.
The members of the RRB perform their duties on a part-time basis, meeting several time a year in Geneva. They retain the status originally established for IFRB members: they serve as “custodians of an international public trust” and not as representatives of their respective Member States or regions. They must be thoroughly qualified in the field of radiocommunications and possess practical experience in the assignment and utilization of frequencies.
The duties and working methods of the RRB are defined in various parts of the ITU Constitution, Convention and Radio Regulations, and in Part C of the Rules of Procedure. The duties include:
- approving Rules of Procedure, used by the Radiocommunication Bureau in applying the provisions of the Radio Regulations and registering frequency assignments made by Member States;
- addressing matters referred by the Bureau which cannot be resolved through application of the Radio Regulations and Rules of Procedure;
- considering reports of unresolved interference investigations carried out by the Bureau at the request of one or more administrations and formulates Recommendations;
- providing advice to Radiocommunication Conferences and the Radiocommunication Assemblies;
- considering appeals against decisions made by the Radiocommunication Bureau regarding frequency assignments;
- performing any additional duties prescribed by a competent conference or by the Council.
The members of the RRB are elected at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference from candidates proposed by ITU Member States. To achieve geographical balance, Board members are elected from five Administrative Regions. All ITU Member States can vote for the candidates from each region. The Director of the Radiocommunication Bureau is the Executive Secretary of the Board.
The first part-time 9-member Radio Regulations Board was elected at the Kyoto Plenipotentiary Conference in September 1994 and took up its duties on 1 January 1995. Four years later, the 1998 Minneapolis Plenipotentiary Conference changed the composition of RRB, increasing the number of its members from nine to twelve.