H.R. 607 "Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011" threatens part of 70cm band

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VE3OBP, Feb 22, 2011.

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  1. VE3OBP

    VE3OBP Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Society of Broadcast Engineers issued a legislative alert to its members this week. A Bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 10, states that within 10 years after the Act is adopted, the entirety of the paired spectrum between 420-440 MHz and 450-470 MHz must be auctioned by the FCC for commercial use. This includes the Broadcast Auxilliary Services (BAS) allocation at 450-451 MHz and 455-456 MHz. There is no proposed replacement spectrum for displaced BAS licensees. Of interest to hams would be that it also includes the 430-440 Mhz portion of the 70cm ham band often used for satelite and weak signal work.
    The spectrum targeted includes the 450-451 and 455-456 mhz sections which are used heavily by commercial radio broadcasters for remote pick-ups, as well as by many other civilian and defense users.
    The Bill was introduced by Representative Peter King, (R-NY) who serves as Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. The "Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011," has ten cosponsors as of now, including members of both political parties.
  2. W6UDO

    W6UDO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Have to wonder what, if anything, this would do to ReconRobotics. Weren't their units using some of these frequencies?? It be real interesting if the FCC OK'd their use of part of this band, and now Congress is trying to auction it off!
  3. KC2ZPK

    KC2ZPK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Any way to stop this? I know I am new to this, but there has to be 100's of thousands of 2 M, 70 cm gear out there, HTs Mobiles, repeaters, high end bases for sattelite work. Has anyone though of the impact to the ham community? Or the impact it will have on the new owners of this spectrum?
  4. K0PJS

    K0PJS Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. K7MJQ

    K7MJQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can't believe the ARRL doesn't have a link with a form letter so tat we can all canvass our Senators and Representatives. I think I will ALSO write the ARRL, in addition to the politicians!


  6. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's like deja vu all over again. Seems like this is about the third or fourth thread about this in the past few days.
  7. W6JMF

    W6JMF Ham Member QRZ Page

    well I suspect they will since they said they would. Read the whole article on the ARRL web site...

    “As we continue to track the progress of HR 607, I urge ARRL members to watch for further information about the bill on the ARRL website,” Henderson said. “When that additional information is released, it will include a request to contact your representative and express opposition to HR 607, as long as it includes a provision to auction off any Amateur Radio spectrum for commercial use.
  8. W6JMF

    W6JMF Ham Member QRZ Page

  9. WB8BON

    WB8BON Ham Member QRZ Page

  10. AJ4XM

    AJ4XM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually the ARRL has a link to the story about this on their home page, sent out a notice about it days ago in the E-mail newsletters, and is preparing a form letter (although you do not need to use their form) to send to the ARRL lobbyist in WA who will "hand carry" the thousands of letters received over to the appropriate members. Nothing will happen for a while on this (it is congress after all) but we need to get it fixed at the first opportunity. Before they start hearing from people (contributors) who want to 'buy' this spectrum. Most likely some staffer did look at a repeater directory or ask someone what frequency the hams used and was told 440-450 and that is why they left it out. But the rest of 420-440 is used for a lot of other stuff that a causal user or inquiry may not have revealed. I don't think Peter King is so stupid that he would try to take spectrum from either broadcasters or amateurs, so giving him the benefit of the doubt I go with the staff not researching it enough. I don't know about any of the other committee members, but typically they do no research of their own, just get their names on bills to show they are doing something. Then when a squeaky wheel turns up they look more closely at the issues. Broadcasters use a few frequencies just above our band and they will be upset about this as well. They may have more money to spend on lobbying than the ARRL does and it can only help us to have attention directed to the issue.

    Writing your representative directly usually takes weeks to months before they get the mail due to security checks. Most Email goes to spam, but you never know what gets through. Probably have a better shot at contacting staffers. Or if you live where they have a local office, trying to give them a letter or even meet with the representative when they are in town. At this point only the committee members really matter. We have to get this fixed before it ever gets to the whole house. Fixing it in committee is much easier. And the time to do it is before they start having hearings on it. Even if you do the "form" letter from the ARRL, contacting the committee members (if you live in their districts) would be very beneficial.

    Tom, AJ4XM
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