FCC PSHSB 17-344: ARRL/Winlink comments at FCC Puerto Rico Hearings
The FCC has opened a new proceeding, PSHSB 17-344, seeking input to improve future disaster response based on lessons learned in the recent Puerto Rico hurricane disaster. The FCC intends this proceeding to benefit a broad range of subjects, including commercial radio/TV broadcasting, internet, mobile wireless, and other telecommunications. Three filings were about amateur radio, which was a very small paragraph in the FCC request for comment. Alarmingly, two of the three filers it would appear simply cannot "let a good crisis go to waste" and chose to promote their own special interest agenda. ARRL chose to opportunistically file a lengthy document that uses the Puerto Rico crisis as a segway into both the need for FCC approval of wide band digital (PACTOR 4) in the HF bands and the need to have their much touted "Amateur Radio Parity Act" (the Antenna Bill) approved by Congress. The WINLINK CEO Steve Waterman chose to use the crisis to opportunistically re-open the concept of wide band digital (PACTOR 4) as a seemingly universal answer to emergency communications needs. The comments from ARRL and WinLink CEO Steve Waterman, K4CJX are linked here, read them for yourself. Will such self serving use of a proceeding intended by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, to mitigate the misery of people who where devastated by a hurricane, put amateur radio in a good light? One amateur that was on the ground in Puerto Rico, Timothy Mohoney, provided his first hand account of things. On this web site, nothing but the facts. YOU DECIDE.
While the actual comment period is now over, by ARRL and Waterman both re-opening the Wide Band Digital (PACTOR 4) and ARRL re-opening the Amateur Radio Parity Act, the public is now able to counter these comments with "Reply to Comment" filings until February 21, 2018.
WT 16-239, which was a direct result of ARRL's RM-11708 a few years back, if enacted as the ARRL suggests, would allow wide band digital signals with no bandwidth limitations, to disrupt the CW, RTTY, PSK, JT-65, FT-8 narrowband portions of our amateur bands. We feel very strongly that comments need to be filed to counter ARRL and communicate to the FCC the extremely negative impacts such regulations would have on existing narrowband operations.
Furthermore, those of us that feel strongly that the Amateur Radio Parity Act is a bad deal, favoring HOA's and allowing them the opportunity, by law, to decide whether or not an antenna system is aesthetically appropriate can also take this same opportunity to have their views heard by the FCC.
We urge you to take the time to voice your concerns to the FCC. Otherwise, the FCC may think ARRL is representing you. In this case, we strongly feel it is NOT!
FILE YOUR FCC "REPLY TO COMMENTS" ON PSHSB 17-344, STARTING ON MONDAY JANUARY 29, 2018.
TO STOP THIS, YOU MUST FILE "REPLY" COMMENTS, URGING TIMELY FCC ACTION:
If you have a document file (MUST be .txt or .pdf) ready to file, use this procedure:
YOU MUST FILE YOUR OWN "REPLY" COMMENTS BEFORE FEBRUARY 21, 2018
By now, most of you have heard about the January ARRL Board of Directors meeting, and the battle to save the hobby and save the ARRL from itself. A new group has formed to address the underlying problems of ARRL governance, external funding and influence on Director elections, conflict of interest, and mismanagement of FCC rule making procedures. We support the long term goals of that group, and hope they will also support this urgent initiative which MUST be acted on BEFORE FEBRUARY 21, 2018.
OUR EFFORT TO SUPPORT THAT:
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