Thursday, March 1, 2018

ARRL Calls for FCC Antenna Action

Responding to reports that Congress is unlikely to pass any telecommunications legislation this term, including the Amateur Radio Parity Act (ARPA/S.1534) now pending before the Senate Commerce Committee, the ARRL said in FCC comments that the Commission must "take the action on its own initiative that would be called for by this legislation." According to the ARRL Letter, the comments – in response to a public notice seeking input on the communications industry's response to last year's hurricanes - noted amateur radio's role in providing communications in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and said action is needed to require homeowners associations (HOAs) to permit effective outdoor antennas. "It is critical," the League noted, "to have stations located at one's residence in order to regularly participate in disaster preparedness training exercises and drills."
Commenting separately in the same proceeding in response to the ARRL filing, attorney Jim Talens, N3JT, who has written here and elsewhere about his serious concerns that the language of S.1534 will make it more difficult, not less, for hams to put up antennas in HOA-regulated areas, warned that the FCC "should not be deceived by ARRL into believing that moving forward on ARPA will help American emergency preparedness." Talens called on the FCC to adopt rules and procedures for amateur antennas in HOA-regulated areas that more closely parallel rules already in effect under the FCC's Over the Air Reception Devices (OTARD) rule for TV antennas and satellite dishes. 

The full text of both comments may be found on the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System website under ET Docket number 17-344.