UPDATE January 12, 2016
Subcommittee Chair, H.R. 1301 Sponsor Testify on Behalf of Amateur Radio Parity Act
During a January 12 Capitol Hill hearing, US House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chair Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), called the Amateur Radio Parity Act “a commonsense bill” and urged his colleagues to support it. H.R. 1301 was one of four telecoms bills that came before his panel.
“As a ham radio operator, I’m acutely aware of the passion that Amateur Radio operators have for their service,” Walden told the subcommittee. “Despite its widespread use and importance in times of emergencies, land-use restrictions in some areas have prioritized esthetics over the rights of hams. H.R. 1301 seeks to ensure that Amateur Radio operators get a fair shake and protection from unnecessary bans on their equipment by instructing the FCC to adopt rules to this end.”
Walden said he’s aware of suggestions that the bill would open the door to 40 foot towers in townhome backyards. “That’s not the case,” he assured his subcommittee colleagues. “Ham equipment can be as small as over-the-air digital television antennas becoming popular with ‘cord cutters.’ I’m sure that Amateur Radio operators’ communications deserve no less protection than access to prime time television.”
In his remarks, the bill’s sponsor, Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), pointed out that most House members have a few hundred radio amateurs living in their districts. He explained that hams in some neighborhoods “are outright prohibited” from erecting antennas on their properties, “even as small as a 4 millimeter diameter wire that might be placed under an awning or laid flat against the house.”
Kinzinger cited Amateur Radio’s role in emergency communication support and noted the comments of FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, to the effect that when conventional communication systems go down, Amateur Radio is often the last line of defense.
Kinzinger said his bill’s “reasonable accommodation standard” would not mandate placement, size, or esthetics regarding an outdoor antenna, leaving ham radio operators and homeowners associations to decide those issues.
“We just simply add the same standard that has been used successfully in municipal areas to other areas,” he concluded.
HR 1301 would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land-use restrictions, such as deed covenants, conditions, and restrictions. The bill has attracted 116 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle. An identical US Senate measure, S. 1685, has attracted 3 cosponsors. It cleared the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation last November.
More information about the legislation is on the ARRL Amateur Radio Parity Act web page.
UPDATE January 12, 2016
ARLB002 Amateur Radio Parity Act HR 1301 to Get House Subcommittee Airing
QST de W1AW
ARRL Bulletin 2 ARLB002 (edited for this website)
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT January 12, 2016
To all radio amateurs
HR 1301, the US House version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act, will be among four communications-related measures set for a legislative hearing on January 12 before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. Chairing the panel is US Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI, an Oregon Republican.
“This New Year we resolve to continue working to protect America’s consumers and small businesses,” Walden is quoted in a Subcommittee news release. “These bills collectively seek to protect folks from the inappropriate applications of law and misuse of 21st century technology.”
Sponsored by US Rep Adam Kinzinger, an Illinois Republican, HR 1301 would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land-use restrictions, such as deed covenants, conditions, and restrictions.
The bill has attracted 116 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle.
While no one from the ARRL is scheduled to testify in support of the measure, ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, and ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, are expected to be on hand for the session. The League directly contacted ARRL members in the districts represented on the subcommittee, asking them to contact their members of Congress and urge their support of the bill.
The US Senate version of the Amateur Radio Parity Act, S. 1685, cleared the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation last November. It has 3 cosponsors.
There is more information about the bills on the ARRL Amateur Radio Parity Act web page, located at,http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-parity-act .
UPDATE December 2, 2015
US Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI, Among Latest Amateur Radio Parity Act Cosponsors
UPDATE November 19, 2015
Amateur Radio Parity Act Passes Senate Committee, Gains Cosponsors
UPDATE November 12, 2015
Our people in Washington, D.C. just left Senator Nelson’s office and reported that he is on the fence about whether to support Senate Bill 1685, the Amateur Radio Parity Act (ARPA), or not.
Senator Nelson is the ranking minority party member on the committee and carries a good deal of influence.
It is URGENT that we barrage the Senator’s Washington office with phone calls asking for his support of Senate Bill 1685.
The number to call for Senator Nelson’s office is: 202-224-5274
I just made the call and it will only take a minute or two. When the staffer answers, tell them that you would like to ask for Senator Nelson’s support of Senate Bill 1685, the Amateur Radio Parity Act.
They will ask you for your zip code, record your support of S. 1685, and thank you for contacting them.
More information on the ARPA can be found at:
Even if you have already sent an email to Senator Nelson, PLEASE make a phone call. If you haven’t contacted the Florida Senators (both are on the committee) as asked for in my email yesterday, please take a couple of minutes and do so. If you have already done so—Thank You!
As always, please send a short email to email@example.com to let me know you made the phone call. That lets us have an idea of the number of contacts made. I’ll apologize in advance that I won’t be able to personally respond to the emails, but I will read every single one.
Please spread this message far and wide to amateurs within Florida.
Thanks & 73,
UPDATE November 11, 2015
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: S.1685 The Amateur Radio Parity Act
It appears that the Bill will come up in committee for a vote next week.
Both of our Florida Senators are on the committee and we need to have as many emails or phone calls made to them requesting their support for the Bill as possible.
Please contact Senator Nelson and Senator Rubio today by telephone or e-mail with the following simple message:
“I’m a constituent and an amateur radio operator. I am calling to urge the Senator to support S. 1685, the Amateur Radio Parity Act, when it comes up for a vote in committee on November 18th. Thank you.”
https://www.billnelson.senate.gov/contact-bill (Select “Telecommunications” for the issue and type “S. 1685, the Amateur Radio Parity Act” for the subject) Phone Number if you prefer to call: 202-224-5274
http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact (Select “Telecommunications” for the topic and type “S. 1685, the Amateur Radio Parity Act” for the subject) Phone Number if you prefer to call: 202-224-3041.
***Please forward this to ALL Florida amateurs ASAP, including club reflectors***
Let me know if you send an email or call by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copying your comments to the Senators on the form and pasting them into the email to email@example.com would be especially appreciated.
UPDATE November 11, 2015
ARRL President Urges “Blast of Support” for Senate Version of Amateur Radio Parity Act
UPDATE November 6, 2015
Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 Picks Up US Senator Al Franken as a Cosponsor
UPDATE November 4, 2015
Amateur Radio Parity Act Continues to Gain Traction in US House
UPDATE October 8, 2015
A new video — “The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 — Separating Fact from Fiction” — doubles down on the arguments contained in the League’s August statement. ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, said the video will be made available on Capitol Hill to make sure that Members of Congress have correct information, instead of misrepresentations. Watch the video.
“This short video is a companion piece for the “Clarity on Parity” statement on the ARRL website,” President Craigie said. “The video not only explains what H.R. 1301 and S. 1685 are all about but knocks down specific misinformation that opponents have been circulating on Capitol Hill.”
UPDATE September 3, 2015
ARRL has published an information paper titled Clarity on Amateur Radio Parity. Please give this widest distribution in our effort to overcome antenna restrictions.
UPDATE September 1, 2015
Senate Bill S 1685 supports House Bill HR 1301
The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 — H.R.1301 in the US House of Representative and S 1685 in the US Senate — would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land use restrictions. US Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) introduced HR 1301 on March 4 with 12 original cosponsors from both sides of the aisle — seven Republicans and five Democrats in the US House. US Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced S 1685 on June 25, with Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) as the original cosponsor, into the US Senate.
The Amateur Radio Parity Act would require the FCC to amend its Part 97 Amateur Service rules to apply the three-part test of the PRB-1 federal pre-emption policy to include homeowners association regulations and deed restrictions, often referred to as “covenants, conditions, and restrictions” (CC&Rs). At present, PRB-1 only applies to state and local zoning laws and ordinances. The FCC has been reluctant to extend the same legal protections to include private land-use agreements without direction from Congress.
H.R. 1301 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep Greg Walden, W7EQI (R-OR), chairs that panel’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee, which will consider the measure. S 1685has been referred to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet, which is chaired by the bill’s sponsor, Wicker.
ARRL members are urged to contact their members of both the House and the Senate, asking them to sign on to the bill as a co-sponsor. Route letters for your member of Congress to:
Attn: Amateur Radio Parity Act grassroots campaign
225 Main St
Newington CT 06111
Clarity on Amateur Radio Parity
Some misconceptions about the Amateur Radio Parity Act are being circulated. Please read the document “Clarity on Amateur Radio Parity” here.
UPDATE July 15, 2015
Your letters to Congressmen and Senators are vitally important.
Read what ARRL says about Letters to members of Congress Offer Biggest Boost to Amateur Radio Parity Act.
UPDATE July 1, 2015
Your Letters to Support Senate Bill Are Needed
Hi folks, and hope all had good time on Field Day.
Well, the “Amateur Radio Parity Act” has now been introduced in the U.S. Senate as S-1685. And what this means is MORE LETTERS!
Dan Henderson of the ARRL called me yesterday to discuss this and HR-1301 (the letter most of you already signed). He says that they have only delivered 5 letters to representative Nugent with regard to 1301. Well, soon he will be getting more than 40 more! Dan assured me that these letters DO make a difference.
So with that in mind, attached are two letters, one to Senator Bill Nelson and the other to Senator Marco Rubio. I would ask that you print out each of these letters, sign them and print your name and address below your signature and return both of them to me. They are similar in nature but they refer to separate bills (HR-1301 for the House and S-1685 for the Senate). I’ll take care of getting them delivered to the proper people”.
John Ellis NP2B
1149 Mockingbird Lane
The Villages, FL 32163
telephone 352 633-2910
facsimile 352 633-0401
mobile 340 513-4928
UPDATE June 29, 2015
Senate Sponsor of “Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015” said Bill Promotes Regulatory Transparency, Equality
Reference: Senate Sponsor of Amateur Radio Parity Act
US Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), who sponsored “The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015” in the Senate, had said the bill he introduced, with original cosponsor Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), would allow for transparency and equality in the regulatory process. S. 1685 and its identically worded US House version H.R. 1301 direct the FCC to provide “regulatory parity” for Amateur radio operators. Wicker said in a June 29 media release that the legislation would ensure that Amateur Radio operators are able to continue to provide “critical communications support at no cost to taxpayers.”
“This would be particularly beneficial in Mississippi and other rural states,” Wicker said. “During Hurricane Katrina, Mississippians learned firsthand the value of Amateur Radio, and its ability to provide information that could save lives in times of natural disasters.”
According to Wicker, the measure “ensures increased access to, and availability of, critical resources and communication tools” to first-responders. Added Blumenthal, “We have seen the effectiveness of these systems, and the need to provide these emergency response systems to Americans, regardless of where you live, is evident.”
Wicker pointed out that private land-use restrictions prevent many hams from installing functional outdoor antennas. “This bill would call on FCC to apply the reasonable accommodation policy evenly to all types of residential land use regulations and offer Amateur Radio operators the ability to negotiate with subdivisions that now have restrictions that preclude Amateur Radio antennas completely,” he said. “This could be accomplished without taking any jurisdiction away from homeowners associations and would protect neighborhood aesthetics.”
Wicker recalled that in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Amateur Radio operators restored communication with FEMA, the Red Cross, and other disaster relief entities when the primary emergency response network was down.
The House version of the bill, H.R. 1301, was introduced in March Rep Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). According to Wicker, the House measure now has 84 bipartisan cosponsors, including Mississippi Rep Gregg Harper.
UPDATE June 3, 2015
Congressman Jeff Miller has signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R.1301!
Please take a couple of minutes to send him an email thanking him for his support. You can do this by filling out the form located at https://jeffmiller.house.gov/contact/contactform.htm.
For the “Issue” on the actual contact form page, select “Telecommunications”.
Please pass this along to all other amateurs that you know who live in the Congressman’s District and also please let me know if you send an email by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copying your comments to the Congressman on the form and pasting them into the email email@example.com would be especially appreciated.
Thanks & 73,
Doug Rehman, K4AC
ARRL Board of Directors, Southeastern Division
UPDATE June 9, 2015
Letters to Members of Congress Offer Biggest Boost to Amateur Radio Parity Act
ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, has told Section Mangers that while promotion and positive publicity about the Amateur Radio Parity Act (HR 1301) are always helpful, the most useful action radio amateurs can take is to contact their members of Congress, urging them to sign on as a bill cosponsor. As of June 9, 72 members of the US House in both parties were listed as cosponsors to the proposed legislation, which would direct the FCC to extend its rules relating to reasonable accommodation of Amateur Service communications to private land-use restrictions. Craigie told the SMs that the grassroots campaign supporting HR 1301 needs more letters.
“We have been told quite bluntly by some Congressional offices that they want letters from constituents — that they will be interested in what the ARRL has to say only if they know that voters care about this issue,” Craigie said in urging Section Managers to rally the troops. “Why should the Congressman care, they ask, if the voters don’t? There are tens of thousands of ARRL members who have not written yet. You can do a lot to persuade them to write, because they know you.”
Members are encouraged to contact their member of Congress by writing personalized, signed letters on paper, based on the sample letter, available on the ARRL HR 1301 web page. Letters should go to ARRL Headquarters for hand delivery to the appropriate House members. Send letters to ARRL, ATTN HR 1301 Grassroots Campaign, 225 Main St, Newington CT 06111.
Sending these letters via ARRL allows Headquarters staff to keep track of how many communications are going to which Congressional districts. But more important, Craigie pointed out, when letters are delivered to the Hill in person, there’s an opportunity to speak with Congressional staffers. “The stack of letters is proof that voters care about the bill,” she said. “We have to convince the staff people, so they’ll advise the Representative to co-sponsor. That’s how it works on Capitol Hill.”
Craigie further urged Section Managers to mention the bill when they speak at conventions and club meetings. Craigie urged members whose US House member already has signed on to HR 1301 as a cosponsor to call, write, or e-mail a message of appreciation. “Good manners, good strategy,” she said.
The League is working on having a US Senate version of HR 1301 introduced.