FCC updates 97.113(a)(3)

From the FCC website: “7/14/10 – FCC Issues Report and Order Amending Rules to Permit Amateur Radio Operators Who May be Employees of Participating Entities to Transmit Messages in Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Drills.“.

About this time last year, I started following this issue – which was followed by a lot of discussion. The end result is that several petitions were filed with the FCC, requesting changes in the rules. It surprised some that the FCC has responded so quickly to this, but the FCC has recently also been complimented as one of the most improved government agencies. We now have an update that makes good sense.

It is a pleasure to read thru this document, and recognize that all the issues and concerns are reviewed and addressed – it appears very thorough. This is a good example of how the process can work. There is some great material in here that we can use to further promote the awareness and legitimacy of the service of Amateur Radio in emergency preparedness. I’ll re-post the introductory statements here, but I encourage you to go read the whole document.
Links to follow…

From the Federal Communications Commission Report & Order FCC 10-124,
Adopted and Released July 14, 2010 :

1. In this Report and Order, we amend the Commission’s amateur radio service rules. Specifically, we amend the rules to permit amateur radio operators to transmit messages, under certain limited circumstances, during either government-sponsored or non-government sponsored emergency and disaster preparedness drills, regardless of whether the operators are employees of entities participating in the drill. Although public safety land mobile radio systems are the primary means of radio-based communications for emergency responders, experience has shown that amateur radio has played an important role in preparation for, during, and in the aftermath of, natural and man-made emergencies and disasters.

2. Current rules provide for amateur radio use during emergencies. At the same time, the rules prohibit communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer. While there are some exceptions to this prohibition, there is none that would permit amateur station control operators who are employees of public safety agencies and other entities, such as hospitals, to participate in drills, tests and exercises in preparation for such emergency situations and transmit messages on behalf of their employers during such drills and tests. Accordingly, we amend our rules to provide that, under certain limited conditions, amateur radio operators may transmit messages during emergency and disaster preparedness drills and exercises, limited to the duration of such drills and exercises, regardless of whether the operators are employees of entities participating in the drills or exercises.

The full document can be found here :
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-10-124A1.pdf
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-10-124A1.doc
Please read this, and save a copy for future reference…

I am proud to have had the opportunity to contribute even slightly in the formulation of the petition that was submitted by the Amateur Radio Policy Committee. Thanks to the efforts of David Coursey – N5FDL and many many others that helped put together the ARPC petition, and all those that submitted individual comments – we can all get back to the work at hand. I know several emergency management professionals that were very discouraged over these complications, and expect that they will be greatly relieved and encouraged by this recent Report & Order.

David’s website has a lot of additional detail on the ARPC process, as well as a wealth of other information on emergency communications response that you may find relevant and worth reviewing : http://n5fdl.com.

Thanks again, & 73 for now
/;^)

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