There is a "Call to Action" being posted web wide. Well, at least in
Michigan. Jim, K8JE has asked us to write letters to our US House of
Representatives Congressman to highlight an issue important to amateur
radio. I've taken the liberty of copying his message below.
Rep. Peter Hoekstra
2234 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
I don't know if the Congressional boundaries are changed around
Muskegon. I suspect so because the Honorable Peter Hoekstra is a
Republican and Muskegon has a high concentration of Democrats. So
please insure your letter is delivered to your Congressman and not mine.
I'll likely send a paper letter although the task can be easily
accomplished with email. My personal choice.
Please take a moment to assist. Each of our letters will make a
difference. You do not need to be an ARRL member to have your voice
heard and message make a difference.
Dear ARRL member,
Now Is The Time For All Good Hams To Come To The Aid Of Their Radio
All amateurs are urgently requested to write letters to their US
Representative. These letters are to ask them to cosponsor HR 462, the
current bill in the US House of Representatives that would protect
Amateur Radio from interference from unlicensed devices -- e.g. various
Part 15 devices and BPL. The bill is in Committee and your letter will
help move it to the floor of the House.
Your letter and the letters of thousands of other amateurs will be the
first step in a series of actions to get this bill passed. Subsequent
actions will involve liaison members of the ARRL Legislative Action
Program, but we first need to get as many sponsors while it is in
Committee as possible. The more letters each Representative receives,
To learn the name and address of your US Representative, go to
www.arrl.org and click on "Members Only" at the top of the screen. If
you have already registered (free) to access Members Only, you will see
the names and addresses of your US Representative and US Senators on
the left of the Members Only screen. If Members Only does not fully
open for you, simply register on the opening screen to use. This will
give you access to it.
Mail your letter only to your US Representative. Do not mail it to
either of your US Senators. The bill is only in the US House of
Representatives and not in the US Senate. We are working to have a
bill introduced in the Senate, later.
I have pasted a draft letter for you to use, below. Please copy the
letter and add the name and address of the Representative. Also add
your name and address.
Modify the letter to personalize it if you have time, sign it and
Each time we discuss sending letters to Congressmen, several people
offer suggestions on how this should best be done -- by US Mail, FAX,
e-mail, to the Washington, DC office, to a local office, etc. The
answer to the best way to get mail to them depends on the individual.
I will leave it to you to determine how you wish to send the letter.
The main thing is to send it . . . and to do this fairly soon.\\
Also, if possible, please send a copy of your letter to Dave Sumner,
K1ZZ, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111 or to k1zz@...
These copies are forward to our representative in Washington who uses
them as proof that the "voters back home" are interested In the bill.
The draft letter is:
The Honorable __________
United States House of Representatives
____________ House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman/woman ___________:
On behalf of nearly 700,000 federally licensed Amateur Radio operators
across the nation, I wish to bring to your attention an issue that
affects emergency communication operations. As a voter in your
district, I request that you become a cosponsor of H.R. 462, and
support its passage within the House Energy and Commerce Committee,
Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee. This is the
"Emergency Amateur Radio Interference Protection Act." This
bill urges the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to conduct a
very targeted but comprehensive evaluation of "broadband over
power line" (BPL) systems that may interfere with public safety
and other licensed radio services.
BPL utilizes electric power lines as conductors of broadband signals.
Unfortunately, because power lines are not shielded, they also act as
antennas and radiate signals into the air. These radiated signals
interfere with radio receivers tuned to the same frequency range. BPL
is deployed only to a very limited extent, but amateur radio operators
and several state public safety commissions report they are already
experiencing severe interference that the FCC has been unable or
unwilling to correct.
Because the amateur radio service needs no infrastructure for it to
communicate, it is the only 100 percent fail-safe emergency
communication system in the world. Interference from BPL emissions is
significantly disrupting this capability.
The impact on emergency communications extends beyond amateur radio.
Fourteen states utilize a similar frequency range for state police
operations. Nine of these states use it as their primary radio band.
The interference concern has also been echoed by the National
Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the Association of Public-Safety
Communications Officials-International (APCO), and the National Public
Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC).
In deploying broadband, it is vital that further understanding and
causation of interference be studied by the FCC. H.R. 462 will
accomplish this goal, by allowing the FCC to ascertain what additional
rules governing BPL systems, if any, should be adopted by the FCC in
order to reduce the interference potential to a reasonably low level.
The FCC has authority to study this issue, as it is the primary agency
responsible for adopting rules in BPL systems. Unfortunately, the 2004
rules governing BPL are not sufficient to reduce the probability of
harmful interference to reasonable levels. This non-controversial
study language was included as part of H.R. 5252, the Communications
Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (COPE) of 2006.
Amateur radio operators, like me, are not opposed to broadband
services. On the contrary, we usually tend to be early adopters of new
technology. However, BPL represents a significant potential
interference source for radio services using certain frequency ranges.
Unlike BPL, other methods of providing broadband Internet services to
consumers, such as cable, DSL, wireless and Fiber to the Home, do not
pollute the radio spectrum.
It is imperative that there is a comprehensive evaluation of the
interference potential of BPL to public safety services and other
licensed radio services. The potential impact on public safety
communications must be taken into consideration. Please cosponsor and
support passage of H.R. 462, or support its inclusion in a
comprehensive broadband bill. Thank you for your attention to this
Name, Title, Contact Information
A question: Can non-ARRL members and non-hams write to their US
Representatives? Certainly. Just be certain the letter reads
Thanks for your help. Please feel free to ask any questions.
LACs and LAAs please stand by. You will be called into action fairly
Jim Weaver, K8JE, Director
ARRL Great Lakes Division
5065 Bethany Rd.
Mason, OH 45040
; Tel.: 513-459-0142
ARRL - The Reason Amateur Radio Is!
Members - The Reason ARRL Is!
ARRL Great Lakes Division
Director: James Weaver, K8JE
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