Category Archives: Legal

Radio Amateur to Lose License as Part of Enforcement Case Settlement

A New Jersey radio amateur, David S. Larsen Sr., WS2L, of Highland Park, will surrender his Amateur Extra-class license and pay a $7,500 civil penalty as part of a Consent Decree with the FCC to settle an enforcement action. An FCC Enforcement Bureau Order released June 18 said Larsen violated the Communications Act of 1934 and Part 90 rules by operating on frequencies licensed to the Borough of Highland Park for public safety communication.

Continue reading Radio Amateur to Lose License as Part of Enforcement Case Settlement

25% Cost Increase in the Fireworks? Let Your Voice be Heard!

Your Immediate Help Is Needed To Request An Exemption From A 25% Tariff On The Fireworks CARP and other non-profits sell.

Background
The escalating trade clash between the United States and China has many U.S. companies on edge on how it will impact the cost of their goods that are sourced in China.  The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has published a list of approximately $300 billion of goods imported from China—including fireworks — on which the USTR is proposing to impose additional tariffs of up to 25%.  These tariffs could potentially be imposed on consumer fireworks as well as public display fireworks damaging the fundraising potential of thousands of nonprofits and forcing many communities to discontinue 4th of July fireworks shows because of the escalating cost.

Continue reading 25% Cost Increase in the Fireworks? Let Your Voice be Heard!

FCC Enforcement Advisory

“Two way VHF/UHF radios may not be imported, advertised, or sold in the United States unless they comply with the commissions rules”.

“Amateur Radio Exception. There is one exception to this certification requirement: if a device is capable of operating only on frequencies that the FCC has allocated for use by Amateur Radio Service licensees, it does not require FCC equipment authorization, and an amateur licensee may use his or her license to operate such radios. However, many two-way radios that purport to operate on amateur frequencies also operate on frequencies that extend beyond the designated amateur frequency bands.”

“If a two-way VHF/UHF radio is capable of operating outside of the amateur frequency bands, it cannot be imported, advertised, sold, or operated within the United States without an FCC equipment certification. Even if a two-way VHF/UHF radio operates solely within the amateur frequencies, the operator is required to have an amateur license to operate the device and must otherwise comply with all applicable rules. The Bureau will take very seriously any reports of failures of two-way radio operators to comply with all relevant rules and requirements when using devices in the amateur bands.”

FCC Enforcement Advisory DA 18-980 PDF

Politico Article Raises Visibility of Amateur Radio Parity Act Progress, Challenges

On May 23, the US House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that included the language of the Amateur Radio Parity Act (HR 555) cleared the House. The following day, a fiscal year 2019 Financial Services appropriations bill also containing Parity Act language cleared the Financial Services and General Government subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations and now is working its way through the full Appropriations Committee. As a result, the Parity Bill has attracted some attention from outside the Amateur Radio and homeowners association communities.

Continue reading Politico Article Raises Visibility of Amateur Radio Parity Act Progress, Challenges

Amateur Radio Case Attracts Attention of FCC Commissioner

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, has used the latest chapter in an Amateur Radio enforcement proceeding to reiterate his call that the Commission abolish its Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) system. The long-standing case involves efforts by William F. Crowell, W6WBJ, (ex-N6AYJ), of Diamond Spring, California, to renew his license. Late last week, the FCC denied reconsideration of Crowell’s petition to have the Commission assign a new ALJ to his case, arguing that the current ALJ, Richard L. Sippel, is biased against him. Attaching his own comments to a Memorandum and Opinion Order (MO&O), released on April 26, O’Rielly said he approved the Commission’s opinion that Crowell’s appeal was justifiably denied, but he expressed concern that the ALJ “took unnecessary actions” in Crowell’s case, and in another unrelated proceeding.

Continue reading Amateur Radio Case Attracts Attention of FCC Commissioner

Can a Home Owners Association Ban Antennas? We Answer Your Questions

by Luke Bouma

Watching tv and using remote control2017 was a great year for over the air TV and with the new 3.0 OTA standard on the horizon, your antenna is about to get better. Yet we often hear that a home owner’s association or other similar group will not let someone install an antenna on their condo or house. Yet the rules are clear, you have every legal right to install an antenna even on a condo if you own it.The rule (47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000) has been in effect since October 1996, and it prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming.  The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37″) in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas.  The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.Effective January 22, 1999, the Commission amended the rule so that it also applies to rental property where the renter has an exclusive use area, such as a balcony or patio.

Continue reading Can a Home Owners Association Ban Antennas? We Answer Your Questions

Status Report: The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 – S. 1534is alive, but with legislative action slowed to a glacial pace on Capitol Hill in recent months, there’s been no real progress to report since this past summer. At present, the bill is under consideration by the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and it remains an active concern for ARRL. The League is working diligently to shake the bill loose and move it forward.

While it may appear that time is short, S. 1534 does not need to pass the Senate by this years’ end. We have until the current session of Congress adjourns, which is not until December 31, 2018. Once the bill passes both Houses, the FCC would still have to implement its essence in the Part 97 Amateur Service rules.

Introduced on July 12, 2017, S. 1534 marked another step forward for the landmark legislation. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sponsored the bill in the Senate. The US House version of the legislation, HR 555, passed the House of Representatives by unanimous consent in January 2017.

Source: http://www.arrl.org/news/status-report-the-amateur-radio-parity-act-of-2017

AB-1222 Signed by Governor Brown

Governor Brown approved AB-1222, Vehicles: electronic wireless communications devices, on September 26, 2017.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1.

Section 23123.5 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

23123.5.

(a) A person shall not drive a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device unless the wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and it is used in that manner while driving.

(b) This section shall not apply to manufacturer-installed systems that are embedded in the vehicle.
(c) A handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device may be operated in a manner requiring the use of the driver’s hand while the driver is operating the vehicle only if both of the following conditions are satisfied:
(1) The handheld wireless telephone or electronic wireless communications device is mounted on a vehicle’s windshield in the same manner a portable Global Positioning System (GPS) is mounted pursuant to paragraph (12) of subdivision (b) of Section 26708 or is mounted on or affixed to a vehicle’s dashboard or center console in a manner that does not hinder the driver’s view of the road.
(2) The driver’s hand is used to activate or deactivate a feature or function of the handheld wireless telephone or wireless communications device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.
(d) A violation of this section is an infraction punishable by a base fine of twenty dollars ($20) for a first offense and fifty dollars ($50) for each subsequent offense.
(e) This section does not apply to an emergency services professional using an electronic wireless communications device while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in Section 165, in the course and scope of his or her duties.
(f) For the purposes of this section, “electronic wireless communications device” includes, but is not limited to, a broadband personal communication device, a handheld device or laptop computer with mobile data access, or a pager.

ARRL Posts Amateur Radio Parity Act FAQs

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 is now in the US Senate (S. 1534). ARRL has developed and posted a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs), “The Amateur Radio Parity Act: Setting the Record Straight,” to explain and to clarify what the passage of the legislation would accomplish — as well as what it would not.

“There has been so much misinformation floating around on forums, blogs, podcasts, etc. regarding the Amateur Radio Parity Act, that we realized a listing of facts as to what the bill is and what it does was long overdue,” said ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, who chairs the ARRL Board’s ad hoc Legislative Advocacy Committee.

Continue reading ARRL Posts Amateur Radio Parity Act FAQs