Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Amateur Radio Parity Act Companion Bill Introduced in Senate

A bill to extend the FCC's "reasonable accommodation" rule on amateur antennas to private land use agreements has been introduced in the U.S. Senate. S. 1685, introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and initially co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), is identical to House bill H.R. 1301, introduced in March by Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger. That bill has, at press time, gathered 84 co-sponsors, according to the ARRL.
Wicker, in a statement, said the bill would ensure "increased access to, and availability of, critical resources and communication tools to our integral first-responders" by providing amateurs with "the ability to negotiate with subdivisions that now have restrictions that preclude amateur radio antennas completely." He noted that this could be done "without taking any jurisdiction away from homeowners associations and would protect neighborhood aesthetics."

The ARRL is urging all amateurs to ask their senators and representatives to show their support for amateur radio by co-sponsoring S. 1685 or H.R. 1301, depending on which house of Congress they are in.