Tuesday, January 30, 2018

ARRL Director Testifies Before Senate Committee on Parity Act

ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Liscenco, N2YBB, testified before the U.S. Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in late January about amateur radio's ability to respond in emergencies. In prepared testimony, he referenced recent activations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and noted that hams in Hawaii were able to begin notifying people that an accidental missile attack alert had been sent in error just 13 minutes after the initial alert went out, while cancellation messages on the cellphone network were delayed by 38 minutes.
Liscenco also noted that the ability of hams in many places to respond quickly in emergencies was being hampered by private land use regulations, and urged quick action to approve the Amateur Radio Parity Act, which is pending before the committee. He called the bill "balanced" and "completely bipartisan," saying it will allow hams to provide emergency and public service communications while "protecting the aesthetic concerns of homeowners' associations." Liscenco said the bill is unopposed, although several amateurs have expressed concerns that it tilts too heavily in favor of continued restrictions on amateur operations.