Monday, June 6, 2016

Compromise Language Reached on Antenna Bill

Significant progress has been made in bringing legal protections to amateurs living in antenna-restricted private developments or with deed restrictions that prohibit or severely restrict amateur operation. The ARRL reports that intensive negotiations with the Community Associations Institute (CAI), the national organization for homeowners' associations, have resulted in agreement on revised language for the Amateur Radio Parity Act (H.R. 1301/S.1685) now pending before Congress. The bill originally sought to extend to hams living under private land use agreements the same "reasonable accommodation" protections currently in FCC rules regarding state laws and local ordinances.

Under the revised language, according to a posting on the CAI website, the bill would mandate the FCC to implement new rules to require  community associations to permit an amateur licensee "to install and maintain an effective outdoor  antenna on property under the exclusive use or control of the licensee," to require that any rules regarding amateur antennas "constitute the minimum practicable restriction on (amateur) communications" and to invalidate any deed restriction or restrictive covenant that "on its face or as applied, precludes communications in an amateur radio service."

Amateurs would still need to provide advance notice and receive association approval before installing an outdoor antenna and associations would retain the right to prohibit the installation of an antenna on common property that is not under the licensee's "exclusive use or control."

At press time, the amended language had not yet been formally introduced and no Congressional action had been scheduled. However, sources close to the negotiations have told CQ that eliminating CAI's opposition to the bill should mean that it can be considered as a "non-controversial" measure and move quickly to a vote in both the House and Senate. The complete text of the revised bill language, as agreed to by ARRL and CAI, is on the CAI website at <>.