QST — H-4477 on hold

MA StatehouseShawn O’Donnell, K3HI, MA State Government Liaison writes on Jan. 16, 2008 at 17:11 ET:

This afternoon, WBZ Radio reported that the House suspended debate on the cell phone bill to consider amendments.

This does not mean that the bill is dead, or that it will be altered to our liking–only that we have more time to be sure that any change to the current law does not affect us adversely.

Some hams have been informed that the current bill does not apply to amateur radio operators. My representative, who contacted the authors of the bill on the Transportation Committee, passed along the same reassurances to me. But in making the point, her staff member cited the passage in law that exempts Citizens Band radio. So I suspect that there may be some confusion about CB vs. amateur radio among a few key staff members.

If we could count on consistent regulatory confusion, we might be tempted to leave things as they are. But some day, someone will discover that ham radio is not CB and impose the law on an amateur. So we should continue to ask our representatives to single out FCC-licensed amateur radio operators from the various unlicensed Citizens Band services.
Thanks to all who wrote or called their representatives. I have no doubt that amateurs were key to slowing the progress of this bill. Let’s see this through to a satisfactory resolution, whatever conclusion the legislature reaches on this matter.

Shawn O’Donnell, K3HI
ARRL State Government Liaison, Massachusetts

Please pass along. Thanks for helping spread the word.

Tomorrow AM, I’ll try to get a message to the lawyers on the Transportation Committee staff with an explanation of the difference between CB and Amateur Radio. –Shawn

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