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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB007 (2006)

ARLB007 House Committee Okays Telecoms Bill with BPL-Interference
Study Amendment

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 7  ARLB007
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  April 28, 2006
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB007 House Committee Okays Telecoms Bill with BPL-Interference
Study Amendment

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee's version of the
Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act of
2006 includes an amendment requiring the FCC to study the
interference potential of BPL systems. The panel voted April 26 to
send the much-talked-about "telecoms rewrite" bill to the full House
for its consideration. "Outstanding news!" was the reaction of ARRL
CEO David Sumner, K1ZZ.

"This is a major victory for the ARRL," he exulted, noting that the
amendment "received significant opposition" from utility companies.
Rep Mike Ross, WD5DVR (D-AR), proposed the amendment, and, with the
support of Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX), the committee
agreed by voice vote to include it in the bill. "This puts the House
Energy and Commerce Committee on record as having concerns about BPL
interference," Sumner said.

A year ago, Ross sponsored House Resolution 230 (H Res 230), which
calls on the FCC to "reconsider and revise rules governing broadband
over power line systems" based on a comprehensive evaluation of
their interference potential to public safety and other licensed
radio services.

"Hundreds of ARRL members who wrote their congressional
representatives in support of Rep Ross's H Res 230 helped to achieve
this week's success with the COPE Act amendment," Sumner observed.

A statement released by Ross's office notes that his amendment,
which received unanimous committee support, "would guarantee that
valuable public safety communications and Amateur Radio operators
are not subject to interference." One of two radio amateurs in the
US House, Ross said infrastructure-free Amateur Radio, "often
overlooked in favor of flashier means of communication," can
maintain communication in disasters that bring more vulnerable
technology to its knees. Ham radio operators "are often the only
means of communication attainable in a devastated area," Ross said.

"I believe it is imperative that the interference potential of BPL
is thoroughly examined and comprehensively evaluated to ensure that
deployment of BPL, which I do support, does not cause radio
interference for Amateur Radio operators and first responders who
serve our communities," Ross added.


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