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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB014 (2011)

ARLB014 Senate "Companion" Bill to HR 607 Avoids Impacting Amateur

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 14  ARLB014
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 25, 2011
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB014 Senate "Companion" Bill to HR 607 Avoids Impacting Amateur
On Thursday, May 19, Senators Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and John McCain
(R-AZ) introduced S 1040 -- The Broadband for First Responders Act
of 2011 -- in the Senate.  While it has a similar objective to HR
607 -- introduced in February by Representative Peter King (R-NY-3)
-- this Senate bill, unlike HR 607, does not call for auctioning any
portions of Amateur Radio spectrum. Both bills call for the
allocation of the so-called "D block" of spectrum, 758-763 and
788-793 MHz, to facilitate the development of a public safety
broadband network.

On learning in February that a Senate version of HR 607 was being
drafted, ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, met with
staff members of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental
Affairs Committee who were working on the bill to share the ARRL's
concerns with regard to HR 607. "They seemed very receptive to our
argument and appreciative of the public service contributions of
radio amateurs," Sumner said. "It is gratifying to see that S 1040
avoids impacting our spectrum allocations."

Sumner explained that while some media reports are referring to S
1040 as "the Senate version of HR 607," it is important that radio
amateurs not oppose S 1040: "There is no reason for us to do so. We
support the creation of an interoperable broadband network for first
responders. Other than to oppose any method that would impact
amateur spectrum use, we do not support one method over another of
achieving that objective. We only oppose one aspect of HR 607, not
the entire bill."

S 1040 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Science,
Commerce, and Transportation, chaired by Senator Jay Rockefeller
(D-WV). Senator Rockefeller earlier introduced his own bill, S 28,
to address the same general topic. Neither Senate bill would impact
amateur spectrum.


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