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ARRL Executive Committee Updated on Regulatory, Governance Issues


ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, chaired the ARRL Executive Committee (EC) meeting on October 20 in Bloomington, Minnesota. During his opening comments, President Roderick said his membership contacts have indicated that strong support exists for the Entry-Level License Enhancement petition to the FCC as well as for the Volunteer Monitor Program that would supplant the current Official Observers. 

General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, told the EC that the Amateur Radio Parity Act remains alive in Congress as part of the House-passed version of the Financial Services and General Government authorization Act (FSGG). The measure now is before a House-Senate conference committee to resolve differences between the versions passed by each house. Imlay indicated that administrative implementation of the bill’s provisions remains on the table should the act not be included in the FSGG authorization bill. 

Imlay said that ARRL is awaiting final approval from the FCC of a new Memorandum of Understanding for the Amateur Auxiliary. Discussions are under way with key players planning the rollout and implementation of the Volunteer Monitor program.

The EC also was told that the FCC has yet to reply to ARRLs concerns regarding a recent FCC Enforcement Advisory that addressed the importation and use of non-certified radios, which have been marketed to the general public. ARRL officials recently conferred with FCC officials about the Advisory, expressing concerns about a portion of the notice that called on radio amateurs possessing such radios not to use them. ARRL officials believe there was no valid legal basis for that assertion in the notice. The EC directed Imlay to prepare a “white paper” explaining ARRL’s position on the issue to inform members in response to inquiries. 

In another FCC matter, ARRL officials met with the chief and staff members of the FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to urge more rapid FCC resolution of a series of long-pending rulemaking proceedings now before the Bureau. Most urgent are the long-delayed “symbol rate” petition (WT Docket 16-239) and the ARRL’s Entry-Level License Enhancement petition. The FCC has not yet put the latter petition on public notice for comment. 

In other action, the Committee directed the Board’s National Broadband Plan Committee to continue monitoring potential threats to the 5.850 – 5.925 GHz, 10 GHz, and 24 GHz bands. Amateur allocations within the so-called “mid-band” spectrum (3.7 – 7.125 GHz) now are under consideration for fixed and mobile broadband allocation. 

On the subject of the ARRL Policy on Board Governance and Conduct of Members of the Board of Directors and Vice Directors, the EC considered and extensively discussed two proposed restatements of that policy. The EC adopted a motion to recommend a draft proposal prepared by the committee appointed by the President to the full Board, with a draft prepared by Imlay also presented as an alternative. The Board holds its next regular meeting in January. 

The EC also received a status report on the review of Ethics and Elections Guidelines to be presented to the Board in January. The ad hoc committee formed for the purpose will circulate its proposal 60 days in advance of the January Board meeting. 

Minutes of the October 20 EC meeting have been posted.




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