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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB021 (1997)

ARLB021 Ham radio excluded from CB enforcement bill

ARRL Bulletin 21  ARLB021
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  April 18, 1997
To all radio amateurs

ARLB021 Ham radio excluded from CB enforcement bill

At the request of the ARRL, Amateur Radio has been specifically
exempted from a bill submitted April 17 by US Sen Russell Feingold
(D-Wisconsin) that would give states and municipalities authority to
enforce the FCC's CB regulations.  Feingold's bill, designated as
Senate Bill 608, originated with efforts by the Beloit, Wisconsin,
City Council--responding to long-standing CB interference
complaints--to pass an ordinance allowing local authorities to
enforce FCC regulations.  The bill is aimed at reducing radio
frequency interference stemming from the use of unauthorized
equipment or frequencies by CBers.

In presenting his bill, Feingold told his Senate colleagues that he
has received RFI complaints over the past several years from
numerous Wisconsin communities ''in which whole neighborhoods are
experiencing persistent radio frequency interference.''

If approved by Congress, Feingold's bill would amend the
Communications Act to allow state or local governments to enforce
regulations that prohibit the use of CB equipment not authorized by
the FCC (such as high-power linear amplifiers).  As it now stands,
no license is required to operate on the 11-meter Citizens Band, but
the FCC does have strict requirements on the type of equipment that
CBers can legally use.  Feingold's bill would preserve the federal
preemption of all other telecommunications matters.  It would
exclude FCC-licensed services, including Amateur Radio, from state
or local oversight.

Also at the ARRL's request, the bill calls upon the FCC to provide
''technical guidance'' to states and municipalities in detecting and
determining violations.  Those affected by a state or local
enforcement decision would be able to appeal to the FCC.  ARRL asked
Feingold to add this provision as final safeguard for amateurs who
might be erroneously prosecuted despite the bill's other exemptions
for amateurs.  Feingold's bill also would not preclude the FCC from
enforcing its own regulations as they apply to CB.

Feingold called his bill ''a common-sense solution to a very
frustrating and real problem which cannot be addressed under
existing law.''


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