Register Account

Login Help

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB008 (2009)

ARLB008 Laura L. Smith Named to Amateur Radio Enforcement Role

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 8  ARLB008
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 26, 2009
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB008 Laura L. Smith Named to Amateur Radio Enforcement Role

Laura L. Smith of Pennsylvania has been named by the FCC to fill the
vacancy created when Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, retired in 2008 as
Special Counsel for the Spectrum Enforcement Division of the FCC's
Enforcement Bureau. Hollingsworth served in that position for more
than 10 years as the FCC's enforcement watchdog over the Amateur
Radio Service.

A 1990 graduate of the Pepperdine University School of Law, Smith
began her legal career with the FCC, working in the Mass Media
Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. She also served as
Deputy Division Chief of the Public Safety and Private Wireless
Division. Smith is currently licensed to practice in the
Commonwealth of Virginia.

In 1998, Smith left the FCC to become Executive Director of
Governmental Affairs for the Industrial Telecommunications
Association (ITA), now Enterprise Wireless Alliance. In that role,
she monitored FCC and legislative proceedings and participated in
all regulatory proceedings relevant to the private wireless
industry. In 2001, Smith became ITA's President and Chief Executive
Officer. While in that position, she was instrumental in the
formation of the Consensus Group, a group of public safety and
private wireless entities responsible for drafting the "Consensus
Plan," a proposed resolution for interference in the 800 MHz band;
this was adopted by the FCC in 2004.

Smith returns to the FCC after serving Of Counsel with the Maryland
law firm of Shulman Rogers. While there, she dealt with
telecommunications matters and provided counsel to numerous entities
in the private radio and public safety communities. Smith has served
as an industry consultant and written columns for a variety of trade
publications including Mobile Radio Technology Magazine and The
Private Wireless Magazine.

In an October 2008 letter to then-FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, ARRL
President Joel Harrison, W5ZN, urged Martin to name a successor to
Hollingsworth: "The appointment of a replacement Special Counsel in
this position is of critical importance to the Amateur Radio
Service, as the delay in finalizing the appointment stands to
undermine in very short order an exceptionally successful and
low-cost program of enforcement in the Amateur Service."

Calling the FCC's Amateur Radio enforcement program "spectacularly
successful," Harrison reminded Martin of the "long period in the
late 1980s and 1990s during which the Commission was essentially
uninvolved in enforcement in the Amateur Service. The Amateur
Service, consisting of some 680,000 licensees of the Commission, is
in essence a self-regulating service; however, due to the shared
frequency allocations in the Service and the long distance
propagation of amateur communications, a very few rule violators can
cause severe disruption in the Service. On the other hand, even a
minimal Commission presence has a very strong deterrent value."

When Hollingsworth was appointed as Special Counsel for Amateur
Radio Enforcement, Harrison said that Hollingsworth "established a
visible presence in the Service and very quickly, and with very
little investment of Commission resources, using little more than
the awareness of an enforcement presence, created strong deterrence
against rule violations."

Upon learning of Smith's move to the Amateur Radio enforcement role,
Harrison remarked that he was "very pleased to see the Commission
move forward with the hiring of a new Special Counsel responsible
for enforcement of the Amateur Radio Service rules," said Harrison.
"Ever since Riley Hollingsworth announced his retirement, we have
met with the Enforcement Chief numerous times and corresponded with
FCC Chairman Martin to ensure this position remains intact at FCC.
The Commission acknowledges the self-regulating environment we
maintain, but also understands that we need their assistance
occasionally to resolve a few situations. They have continually
reassured us that this is an important matter for them, and Ms
Smith's hiring confirms that."


Instragram     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     LinkedIn