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Fwd: ARLB007 FCC Seeks Public Comments on Emergency Communications by Amateur Radio and Impediments to Amateur Radio Communications

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  • Mark Thompson
      SB QST @ ARL $ARLB007 ARLB007 FCC Seeks Public Comments on Emergency Communications by Amateur Radio and Impediments to Amateur Radio Communications ZCZC
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 5, 2012
      SB QST @ ARL $ARLB007
      ARLB007 FCC Seeks Public Comments on Emergency Communications by
      Amateur Radio and Impediments to Amateur Radio Communications
      ZCZC AG07
      QST de W1AW  
      ARRL Bulletin 7  ARLB007
      From ARRL Headquarters  
      Newington CT  April 5, 2012
      To all radio amateurs 
      SB QST ARL ARLB007
      ARLB007 FCC Seeks Public Comments on Emergency Communications by
      Amateur Radio and Impediments to Amateur Radio Communications
      In response to the Congressional directive to prepare a study to
      assess Amateur Radio's role in emergency and disaster communications
      and the impact of private land use regulations on the amateur
      community's ability to provide such communications, the FCC issued
      DA 12-523 soliciting comments from the public. The period for public
      comment runs until May 17, 2012.
      "As part of the study contained in Public Law No. 112-96, the
      Commission has opened a 45 day period for comments to be filed on
      the issue," said ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson,
      N1ND. "Because of the short deadline for the study to be completed
      and presented to Congress -- before the end of August -- the ARRL
      and the amateur community must quickly mobilize their response."
      The FCC Public Notice focuses on two specific areas for comments.
      The first is the role that Amateur Radio has played and continues to
      play to support emergency and disaster relief organizations, such as
      FEMA and local/state emergency management agencies. The second is to
      determine impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio communications. This
      would include the impact that private land-use regulations -- such
      as deed restrictions and homeowner association covenants -- have on
      the ability of licensed amateurs to fully participate in providing
      support communications to the served agencies.
      "This study is not about zoning ordinances or regulations adopted by
      the local or state governments," Henderson explained. "Amateurs
      already have the limited protection of PRB-1 to assist them with
      those situations. The areas of concern here are the limitations that
      are placed on a property when it is purchased, either as part of the
      deed of sale or by restrictions imposed by the
      neighborhood/homeowner's association. Those restrictions --
      sometimes referred to as CC&Rs -- are not currently covered by the
      FCC's PRB-1 decision from 1985."
      To allow the ARRL to quickly collect and collate relevant
      information from the amateur community to help support the filing it
      will make with the FCC on this issue, a website has been setup. The
      site -- www.arrl.org/ccr-study-information -- provides details about
      what kind of information is needed by the ARRL.
      Also on the site, you will find links to two online data collection
      forms. The first form allows you to provide information about
      specific emergency communications in which Amateur Radio has played
      a role since January 2000. The second form asks for specific
      information on the CC&Rs/deed restrictions that control your
      property. It also asks you to provide information on how those
      restrictions have impacted your ability to fully support emergency
      "Whether you are an ARRL member or not, your information and
      situation are important to helping us make the case for all
      amateurs," Henderson said. "Whether your support communications are
      with ARES, RACES, SKYWARN, CERT or other emergency and disaster
      groups, your voice should be heard. If you cannot operate
      effectively from home during an emergency because CC&Rs prohibit
      adequate antennas on your property, that is important to document
      and quantify. This issue affects all of Amateur Radio, not just ARRL
      Henderson said that due to the short timeframe that the FCC has
      allotted for public comment, time is of the essence. In order to
      allow the ARRL to develop its comments, the ARRL asks that all
      information sent by the amateur community be received at the ARRL no
      later than April 25, 2012: "We realize this is a very short
      turnaround asking for your response, but this is based on the time
      provided by the Commission for the comment window."
      It is important that when you provide specifics of your CC&R, you
      also provide the ARRL with a copy of its actual wording. If you have
      the CC&R in a digital format (or you can scan the document into a
      file), it can either be uploaded through the website above or it can
      be sent via an e-mail to CCRinfo@... . If you do not have an
      electronic format, a hard copy may be sent via US mail to: CCR Study
      Information, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111.
      "We need factual, specific details," Henderson said. "The more
      accurate information we have -- including copies of the CC&R
      language -- the stronger case we can make. Having copies of the
      exact CC&Rs is important. It allows us to demonstrate the wide
      variation of restrictions. Including the specific text is as
      important as any other piece of information you provide."
      If you have questions about what is being requested, you may contact
      the ARRL Regulatory Information Office via e-mail at
      reginfo@.... "Again, time is of the essence in this matter,"
      Henderson said. "This is the best opportunity that amateurs have had
      to address the impact of overly burdensome private land use
      restrictions. If Amateur Radio is to succeed in this effort, it is
      going to take all of us working together."

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