ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB004 (1999)

SB QST @ ARL $ARLB004
ARLB004 FCC official meets hams on their own turf

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ARRL Bulletin 4  ARLB004
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 14, 1999
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB004
ARLB004 FCC official meets hams on their own turf

The FCC's Amateur Radio enforcer, Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, turned
up in an unexpected place January 13--75 meters. In what could be an
unprecedented move, Hollingsworth, legal advisor for amateur
enforcement within the FCC's Compliance and Information Bureau,
showed up at around 3894 kHz to discuss enforcement and encourage
compliance.

''A couple of them were pretty shocked,'' he said. ''This has never
been tried before,'' Hollingsworth said the next morning. He said he
broke in on an argument that was growing increasingly nasty in an
effort to settle things down, then stayed to discuss enforcement
with the hams on frequency.

Hollingsworth says he thinks one key to compliance is just getting
people to listen to what he has to say. ''Most people, if you can
just get to them on a one-to-one basis, they'll listen,'' he said,
reflecting his overall enforcement approach to attempt to reason
violators into voluntary compliance rather than writing them up.
During his time on the air, Hollinsgworth confronted one individual
he'd already been in touch with about alleged on-air misbehavior.

Among other things, he told those on hand that noncompliance and
inappropriate on-air behavior could even threaten the hobby's HF
allocations. Hollingsworth advised hams to be more tolerant and
patient and to avoid confrontation or retaliation.

''We all have to realize we're on a mission here: to save Amateur
Radio,'' he said the day after his 75-meter appearance. ''There are
going to be licenses lost and fines owed.'' The jammers already are
well on their way to ''hanging themselves'' right now, he said.

Even as he preached better behavior, Hollingsworth says he
understood from the others on frequency that someone was attempting
to jam his signal. ''I hope the monitoring folks were on the
frequency too,'' he said.

Hollingsworth advised the hams on 75 to contact him with enforcement
problems, and he gave out his e-mail address and telephone number,
rholling@fcc.gov, 717-338-2502. ''I don't know what effect it will
have,'' he said of his on-air foray. Hollingsworth says he'll ''do
what it takes'' to improve amateur compliance, and that could
include future on-air visits with amateurs.

''I've gotten a lot of feedback this morning by phone and e-mail
asking me to do it more often,'' he said. ''We'll be listening more
and asking to be allowed in QSOs more.''

Hollingsworth, who's based in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, took over
the FCC's most recent Amateur Radio enforcement initiative last
September.
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