Today ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio, praised Senators Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) for the introduction of the Amateur Radio Parity Act (S 1534), bipartisan legislation to help protect a vital radio service and national emergency response asset.
S 1534 is identical to H.R. 555, which passed the House of Representatives in January. The legislation takes vital steps necessary to protect the right of all Amateur Radio operators to practice their craft in their residences, ensuring that they are prepared when needed in the case of an emergency.
Specifically, the Amateur Radio Parity Act will, for the first time, guarantee all Amateur Radio operators who are living in deed-restricted communities governed by a homeowner’s association (HOA), or subject to any private land use regulations, the right to construct and maintain an effective outdoor antenna at their residences.
Amateur, or “ham” Radio, is a popular voluntary communications service. More than 760,000 federally licensed participants communicate by radio locally, worldwide, and even into space. During an emergency, hams have the ability to operate independently of the public power grid and provide service without the need for normal communications infrastructure, such as cell phone networks or the Internet.
Because of this flexibility and independence, Amateur Radio is regularly used during natural disasters to help local emergency and served agencies respond when normal communications methods are disrupted. These skilled communications services are provided by radio amateurs free of charge, as a public service. The Amateur Radio Parity Act would ensure that amateurs living in deed-restricted communities would still be able to prepare for and to provide this vital community service during an emergency or disaster, by protecting their ability to install an effective outdoor antenna.
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