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Old 05-01-2009, 05:17 PM   #1
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Default Amateur radio bill in congress

From:

***************

The ARRL Letter

Vol. 28, No. 17

May 1, 2009

***************



==> HOUSTON REPRESENTATIVE INTRODUCES AMATEUR RADIO BILL IN CONGRESS



On Wednesday, April 29, Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) introduced HR 2160 -- the "Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009" -- in the US House of Representatives. This bill, if passed, would "promote and encourage the valuable public service, disaster relief, and emergency communications provided on a volunteer basis by licensees of the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service, by undertaking a study of the uses of Amateur Radio for emergency and disaster relief communications, by identifying unnecessary or unreasonable impediments to the deployment of Amateur Radio emergency and disaster relief communications, and by making recommendations for relief of such unreasonable restrictions so as to expand the uses of Amateur Radio communications in Homeland Security planning and response." The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce



http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-...2160ih.txt.pdf



If enacted into law, HR 2160, would instruct the Secretary of Homeland Security to undertake a study and report its findings to Congress within 180 days. The study would spell out uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio communications in emergencies and disaster relief. The study

shall:



* Include recommendations for enhancements in the voluntary deployment of Amateur Radio licensees in disaster and emergency communications and disaster relief efforts.

* Include recommendations for improved integration of Amateur Radio operators in planning and in furtherance of the Department of Homeland Security initiatives.

* Identify unreasonable or unnecessary impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio communications -- such as the effects of private land use regulations on residential antenna installations -- and make recommendations regarding such impediments.

* Include an evaluation of Section 207 of the Telecommunications Act of

1996 (Public Law 104-104, 110 Stat 56 [1996]).

* Recommend whether Section 207 should be modified to prevent unreasonable private land use restrictions that impair the ability of amateurs to conduct, or prepare to conduct, emergency communications by means of effective outdoor antennas and support structures at reasonable heights and dimensions for the purpose in residential areas.



The Secretary of Homeland Security shall utilize the expertise of the ARRL and shall seek information from private and public sectors for the study.



The bill currently has five co-sponsors: Madeleine Bordallo (Guam), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-OH), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS). Representative Thompson currently serves as Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security. Representatives Jackson-Lee, Lofgren and Kilroy are members of that committee.



"We understand that Representative Jackson-Lee was very impressed with the radio amateurs she encountered on a visit to an Emergency Operations Center in Houston during Hurricane Ike last September," said ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ. "We are grateful to her and to the five original co-sponsors for their support of Amateur Radio and the encouragement that their bill offers."



ARRL President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, concurred: "We are excited to have Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee introduce HR 2160. It is extremely encouraging to have the support of a number of original co-sponsors -- including several members of the House Homeland Security Committee -- who recognize the importance of Amateur Radio's long history of public service."

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Old 05-01-2009, 06:09 PM   #2
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We all know the value here. It looks like one of the major areas is the residential antenna structures. I can see Cities and HOA lobyists trying to shut this down as they won't be able to regulate them as they do now. An interesting statistic for those that are not aware of how many HOA's are out there. In 1980 1 out of 10 homes built in the US was in a community with an HOA. In 2000 3 out of 4 homes built in the US were in an HOA community.
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Old 05-01-2009, 07:40 PM   #3
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Some of the legislators staff wound up calling the ARRL Section Leader and requested that the Hams stopped the email and fax campaign on getting the bill changed. Seems we plugged up the system. Told him that they got the message loud and clear...guess no QRM.

At out January NARS Banquet, we had the Houston area emergency Preparedness Coordinator speak and he was very interesting. He was very impressed with the way the Ham community jumped in and helped...even the ones that had problems to deal with at home.

As soon as the HOA's see the addition to the bill, they will be up in arms, so the fight is not over yet.

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Old 05-02-2009, 10:23 AM   #4
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I agree, it looks like this bill might give some 'Teeth' to PRB-1 (Force local governments to accept PRB-1 type rules)

Homeland Security already includes Amateur Radio in it's plans. All RACES members are considered to be part of Homeland Security We have several advantages over paid professional communications operatives not the least of which is this.

All the police radios in a city reside in a very limited number of locations (Save for the ones the officers are currently carrying) taking out most of the police commnications in a city is actually fairly easy.

However even locating all the ham radio stations in a city... IMPOSSIBLE. For example, QRZ.com shows my mailing address... I'm 70 miles from there today
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
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Be advised when I said contact YOUR congressman, I meant YOURS, not Rep. Jackson-Lee, as she is clearly already on our side. We don't need to annoy her.

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