Thursday, August 23, 2012

FCC to Congress: No Need to Pre-empt CC&Rs

The FCC has told Congress that there is "no compelling reason" for it to revisit its previous decisions not to extend its limited pre-emption of restrictive state and local antenna laws to private land use regulations. These CC&R, or Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions, are imposed by developers and homeowners' associations on purchasers of homes in many areas. The report to Congress released on August 20 is the result of a study mandated earlier this year - with the ARRL's strong backing - of the value of amateur radio emergency communications and impediments (including CC&Rs) to effective amateur communications.

The Commission said commenters disagreed over the impact of CC&Rs on amateur radio emergency capabilities and that "a review of the record does not indicate that amateur operators are unable to find homes that are not subject to such restrictions." The report also said the FCC does not believe Congressional action is necessary regarding CC&Rs or other impediments to amateur communication.

Overall, the report was laudatory of amateur radio's ability to provide emergency communications and recommended that the Department of Homeland Security work with state, local and tribal authorities to improve training for hams and to better integrate amateur radio into existing emergency plans. However, it stopped short of supporting an ARRL recommendation for a federal credentialing system to permit trained amateurs to have easier access to disaster areas when traveling from other states to help provide communications support.