FCC Seeks Public Comments on Emergency Communications by Amateur Radio and Impediments to Amateur Radio Communications

Hello to all..

Please see the following notice in regards to Amateur Radio and Emergency Communications and a study that is being executed. Time is short with a 45-day comment period as proposed by the FCC and the ARRL is looking for comments over the next 3 weeks to collate a common report. Please don’t delay and provide comments. Thanks to all for their support. The text of the memo from ARRL HQ is listed below:

We need your assistance!

The FCC has released a Public Notice soliciting input for the Congressional directed study of Amateur Radio Emergency Communications and Impediments to the amateur’s ability to provide those communications.  This is the ARRL-proposed study which we have been seeking for the last 3 years.

To assist the ARRL in gathering pertinent information for their comments – and to spread the word to the Amateur community as quickly as possible, I am asking that your please send the following to the various email lists/distribution mechanisms in your sections.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!   The FCC is only allowing 45 days for comments and will be closed on May 17, 2012.  In order to allow the ARRL to review the comments from the members and include them in our comments, we have set up the mechanism described below to allow quick input from members.  To allow us the time to compile this information we are asking the information be provided to us by WEDNESDAY APRIL 25, 2012.

Thanks for your assistance in this project.  We are in a position to try and obtain some relief for those who live in deed-restricted / CC&R limited communities. NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!

Thanks and 73!

Dan Henderson, N1ND
Regulatory Information Manager
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio


Do you live in a CC&R- restricted community or participate in EmCom activities?  Have deed restrictions / HOA covenants prevented you from erecting amateur radio antennas? Have these restrictions prevented you from full participation in emergency communications activities during disasters?

If your answer is “Yes”, ARRL needs to hear about your experience.

As you are probably aware, Congress has directed the FCC to conduct a study of the uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio Service communications in emergencies and disaster relief.  The FCC was directed to identify ” impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio Service communications, such as the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use restrictions on residential antenna installations”. Finally, the study is to make “recommendations regarding the removal of such impediments.”

The FCC has issued a Public Notice – DA 12-523- soliciting input from the public as part of their study.  The ARRL is gathering comments from the Amateur Radio community to present as part of its comments on the public notice.

The ARRL is looking specifically for input in two specific areas:
*        Recent Amateur Radio involvement in actual emergency communications and disaster relief;
*        Specific details about how CC&Rs and other private land use restrictions have impaired licensed Amateurs to participate fully in these disaster relief communications.

If your ability to participate in ARES, RACES, SKYWARN, CERT, or other emergency and disaster relief communications has been limited because the inability to have adequate antennas due to CC&Rs, you are asked to provide that information to the ARRL.

First, we recommend that you prepare a narrative of your exact situation, in as much detail as practical. Some areas for you to consider in writing your story might be:
*        Were there alternative properties without CC&Rs in the area you wished to reside?
*        What exactly does your CC&R allow / prohibit (please include a copy of the specific wording)
*        Have you applied for a waiver of the CC&R with the Home Owner’s Association / Architectural Review Committee but were denied?  If so, what was the reason?

To assist you in sharing your information with the ARRL, please visit the special ARRL website built to allow you to readily provide the pertinent information at www.arrl.org/ccr-study-information

This page will present you with an overview of what we are asking and have links to the two forms for you to complete.  Please be as factual as you can with the information you provide and please provide only information about events and activities in which you were directly involved.

If you wish to write out the details of your situation in advance, please do so.  The, they can be either uploaded from the website or they can be sent as an email attachment to an email sent to CCRinfo@arrl.org

Keep in mind that the FCC study does not apply to ordinances and zoning laws implemented by the government – such as towns, cities or counties.  PRB-1 covers those situations.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!  Congress directed that the FCC provide the report back within 180-days and that clock is already counting.  The FCC is only accepting comments for a 45-day period, which will end May 17,2012.  In order for the ARRL to collate your information in a common report, we ask that you send in your information no later than WEDNESDAY APRIL 25.  If you need more information, please contact reginfo@arrl.org   The time to act is NOW!

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 508-346-2929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com

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