Wednesday, February 23, 2011

House Bill Threatens 440 MHz Amateur Spectrum

Introduction of the Broadband for First Responders Act (H.R. 607) in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 10 is sending a shudder through the amateur radio community. An element of the legislation threatens to put up for auction 420 to 440 MHz and 450-470 MHz - a potential loss of spectrum for radio amateurs.

Click here to see H.R. 607.

"There are several bills in Congress providing for the allocation of the D-Block for Public Safety use," an ARRL online story noted. "But H.R. 607 uniquely provides for the reallocation of other spectrum for auction to commercial users, in order to offset the loss of revenue that would occur as the result of the allocation of the D-Block to Public Safety instead of commercial auction.

"H.R. 607 lists the paired bands of 420-440 MHz and 450-470 MHz among the bands to be reallocated for commercial auction within 10 years of its passage."

Co-sponsors of H.R. 607 include Homeland Security Committee’s Ranking Member, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS-2) and Representatives Shelley Berkley (D-NV-1), Yvette Clarke (D-NY-11), Billy Long (R-MO-7), Candice S. Miller (R-MI-10), Laura Richardson (D-CA-37), Mike Rogers (R-AL-3), and Michael Grimm (R-NY-13).