Horses for courses
Oh, dear, Michael C - "Cut back the HAM frequenct range to about 10-20% of what it is today"? That is an astonishingly arrogant attitude, which surely shows that you do not understand the issues - issues which arise whenever *anything* is permitted to radiate EM energy in the range (approximately) 1.6 to 30 MHz. And what difference does it make how many of us are actually active? - there are only a minority of us interested in *most* things, except maybe football, yet we seem mainly to accommodate our differences amicably enough.
In the real world - the one out there which AFAIK exists quite independently of all our arguments and sophistries - the shortwave frequencies exhibit the unique ability to allow very small signals, intereacting with the earth and its ionosphere, to travel over, and be received at, incredible distances, up to and including right round the world. No other frequency range offers anything like this natural property. By the time they get into my receiver, we might easily be talking about attowatts - millionths of millionths of microwatts. Femtowatts are easy. Picowatts are downright luxury. How much, precisely, does your PLT thing radiate?
Lower frequencies (think LW or MW transmitters) need a good deal of power and aerial systems which, though physically big, are electrically rather small and inefficient. Although there is some skywave present after dark, the range is essentially limited to groundwave distances, which means local, by day, and maybe into Europe at night. Higher frequencies - anywhere from around the VHF broadcast band up - travel generally only over line-of-sight paths, apart from rarer occurrences like meteor scatter. The line-of-sight characteristic again means, essentially, local - although many of us take advantage of the fact that satellites pass in line-of-sight range.
Inbetween, in the shortwave area under discussion, we amateurs are allocated small bands of frequencies right across the shortwave precisely because, in this region of the spectrum, the conditions vary - with time and season, as well as with frequency - enormously, and offer scope for many activities and investigations. Yes, many of us are available for emergency work too, and why not? When all your fancy digital stuff goes down, we can still guarantee a comms link, which might be vital; most of that, though, goes on at VHF, so isn't really relevant to a dispute over shortwave.
Why should the unique features of shortwave simply be sacrificed to the convenience of people who can't be arsed to run a simple cable from A to B, or to install, instead of PLT, a 2.4 GHz WiFi - which doesn't crap right across the spectrum - to connect their digital boxes? Everyone who plugs in a PLT system WILL contribute sufficient pollution to that super-sensitive frequency range to destroy its usefulness to the people who are trying - quite legally - to use shortwave in the exploitation and investigation of its unique characteristics. They do not "impair" its use, they do not "add a bit of background noise" - they *destroy* it, since by definition we are looking for the very smallest signals. The situation is very like that resulting from modern light pollution of the night sky, which results in your being able to discern maybe half a dozen very bright stars instead of the thousands and thousands of tiny ones which are there ... so I'm told. Civilisation detaches us from the real world in many ways. Why add more?
No. No matter what commercial considerations may be tried as levers to force this polluting abuse of the electromagnetic spectrum onto the market, it should be banned outright, along with atrocities like "WiTricity". No equipment whatever, if not intended for a bona-fide radio use - which are long-established - should be allowed to emit *any* significant energy between at least 1.6 and 30 MHz. Indeed, it might be preferable to extend the upper limit to 50 or 100 MHz, to allow for proper investigation of the extreme - and extremely interesting - phenomena which can occur in the low VHF, especially near sunspot maxima. The unique physical properties of our world should not just be polluted out of existence to suit the market, no matter how clever we get at thinking up ways of doing it.
Mind you, in a world run by quangos and governments who are firmly in the corporate pocket, don't expect rationality to count for much until after the revolution.
"Fail" icon especially for Ofcom. They're so good at it.