Bill Would Limit Amateur Radio’s Ability to Aid during Emergencies

Amateur Radio spectrum is a crutial part the country’s ability to respond to emergencies and disasters. During 9/11, the Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster, and virtually every storm and hurricane, that spectrum is used by unpaid volunteers to provide absolutely essential communication, often when government resources are not available. The Federal government is trying to sell an important and limited resource in a short-sighted attempt to pay for more toys for DHS. If DHS needs more equipment then they should make their case before congress and get the appropriations like the DOD and everyone else. Just because you dont personally use that radio spectrum doesn’t mean its not important to the nation. Why dont we just sell Yellowstone Park to the Chinese while we are at it, that would raise some cash too.

From: USA Today

Ham radio enthusiasts nationwide are concerned about a bill in Congress that they say would limit their ability to help in disasters and emergencies.

Rep. Pete King, R-N.Y., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, introduced legislation last month aimed at enhancing emergency communications for first responders by reallocating certain frequencies exclusively for public safety.

To offset lost revenue from that change, the bill includes a provision that would allow the 420-440 MHz frequencies currently provided free to amateur radio to be auctioned off.

Those frequencies are used not just by hobbyists but also by hundreds of thousands of Amateur Radio Emergency Service volunteers and severe-weather spotters working with National Weather Service.

…”It’s a bad idea. It’s not good for public safety,” said Harlin McEwen, chairman of a technology committee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a spokesman for the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council.


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