ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB014 (2005)

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ARLB014 US Senate version of Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act
Introduced

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ARRL Bulletin 14  ARLB014
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  June 17, 2005
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB014
ARLB014 US Senate version of Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act
Introduced

A US Senate version of the Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act of
2005 has been introduced with bipartisan support in the 109th
Congress. Sen Michael Crapo of Idaho sponsored the measure, S 1236,
on June 14. The wording of the bill is identical to the House
version, HR 691, introduced earlier this year by Rep Michael
Bilirakis of Florida. Joining Crapo as cosponsors of the Senate bill
were Senators Christopher Bond of Missouri, Max Baucus and Conrad
Burns of Montana, and Daniel Akaka of Hawaii. The bill has been
referred to the US Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
Committee of which Burns is a member. ARRL CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ,
said the League is pleased that Crapo has agreed to once again
sponsor this legislation at ARRL's urging.

"We are grateful for Sen Crapo's demonstration of support by
introducing the Amateur Radio Spectrum Protection Act of 2005,"
Sumner said. "His sponsorship of this bill shows his appreciation
for the value and utility of Amateur Radio to the US public,
especially in times of emergency."

Like previous versions of the proposal, the House and Senate
measures would require the FCC to provide "equivalent replacement
spectrum" to the Amateur Radio and Amateur-Satellite services in the
event of reallocation to other services of primary amateur spectrum
or the diminution of secondary amateur spectrum. The bill also would
cover additional allocations within Amateur Radio bands that "would
substantially reduce" their utility to Amateur Service licensees.

In a letter this week, ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, also
thanked Crapo continued support for the Spectrum Protection Act. "As
you know, this legislation is vital for ensuring that the Amateur
Radio Service, the only 100 percent fail-safe emergency
communication capability, remains a viable public safety option,"
Haynie said. "The ARRL looks forward to working with you on
successfully passing this legislation during the 109th Congress," he
said.

The legislation references Amateur Radio's role in providing
"voluntary, noncommercial radio service, particularly emergency
communications," and it points out that hams have "consistently and
reliably" provided communication support in the event of emergencies
and disasters including tornadoes and hurricanes, chemical spills,
forest fires and rail accidents. As the measure notes, FCC actions
already have led to the loss of at least 107 MHz of spectrum to
radio amateurs.

Efforts will continue--now in both chambers of Congress--to attract
additional cosponsors for S 1236 and HR 691. The League encourages
its members to urge their congressional representatives and senators
to sign aboard. There's more information on the ARRL Web site at,
http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2005/06/17/5/.
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