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ARRL to Testify on Interoperable Public Safety Network

05/23/2011

The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology of the US House of Representatives has invited the ARRL to testify at a hearing on “Creating an Interoperable Public Safety Network.” ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, will appear before the Subcommittee on Wednesday, May 25. Other scheduled witnesses are Jeffrey D. Johnson, Chief Executive, Western Fire Chiefs Association, on behalf of The Public Safety Alliance; Joe Hanna, President of Directions Corporation and past-President of APCO International; Dr Dennis Martinez, Chief Technology Officer for Harris RF Communications Division, and Joseph R. Hanley, Vice President for Technology, Planning and Service, Telephone and Data Systems, Inc.

“While this is not a hearing specifically on HR 607, it provides a welcome opportunity to document our concerns about Section 207(d) of that bill,” noted ARRL Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND. HR 607 was introduced by Representative Peter King (R-NY-3), who serves as chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and then to the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which is chaired by Representative Greg Walden (R-OR-2), W7EQI. The Subcommittee is preparing its own bill to address the need for an interoperable public safety network.

In another encouraging development on HR 607, on Thursday, May 19 a delegation of amateurs met with Representative King to discuss the Amateur Radio community’s concerns. The delegation included ARRL New York City/Long Island (NLI) Section Manager Mike Lisenco, N2YBB; NLI Local Government Liaison and local AMSAT representative Peter Portanova, WB2OQQ; NLI State Government Liaison George Tranos, N2GA, and NLI Section Emergency Coordinator Jim Mezey, W2KFV. The delegation reported that Representative King stated that he fully understands and appreciates the importance of Amateur Radio and the service it provides to the community, and that he would see to the modification of the bill to exclude 420-440 MHz from spectrum to be auctioned.

“The meeting that Mike and his ARRL Section leadership team were able to arrange with Representative King is an important, positive step in the amateur community’s efforts to protect the 70 cm band,” Henderson explained. “While a successful legislative campaign has many facets, there is nothing like ‘face time’ with constituents to reach an elected official.”



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