ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB013 (2006)

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ARLB013 Full US House Okays Telecoms Bill with BPL Study Language Intact

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ARRL Bulletin 13  ARLB013
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  June 9, 2006
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB013
ARLB013 Full US House Okays Telecoms Bill with BPL Study Language Intact

On a 321 to 101 vote, the US House of Representatives on June 8
passed the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement
(COPE) Act of 2006. The House-passed bill, HR 5252, leaves intact
language that required the FCC to study the interference potential
of BPL systems. US Rep Mike Ross, WD5DVR (D-AR), one of two radio
amateurs in Congress, sponsored the BPL study requirement, ''Study of
Interference Potential of Broadband over Power Line Systems,''
contained in Title V, Section 502 of the complex bill. HR 5252 now
goes to the US Senate, where a separate--and very
different--telecoms bill, the Communications, Consumer's Choice, and
Broadband Deployment Act of 2006 (S 2686) is still in committee.

''We were concerned that a representative might be persuaded by BPL
interests to introduce an amendment to delete or dilute Section
502,'' said ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ. ''As it turns out that didn't
happen, although we had taken steps to counter it if it had. So for
now our focus returns to the Senate Commerce, Science and
Transportation Committee.'' Sumner says that if similar language were
introduced on the Senate side, it would be more likely to remain
when and if the House and Senate versions go to a conference
committee.

Section 502 calls on the FCC to ''conduct, and submit to the
Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the
Senate, a study of the interference potential of broadband over
power line systems,'' within 90 days of the bill's enactment.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will
consider S 2686 in a markup session later this month. The ARRL has
e-mailed members in the 22 states with Senators on the committee,
urging them to write seeking support to include similar BPL study
language in the Senate bill.
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