If you live in the US, this is something worthy of your time. I strongly
support this bill.
Jim Brown K9YC
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From: The Society of Broadcast Engineers <email@example.com>
Subject: SBE Legislative Alert
Date: Thursday, April 1, 2010, 12:08 PM
SBE Legislative Alert
March 31, 2010
To: All members of the SBE
The Society of Broadcast Engineers has developed a position statement
regarding the "The FCC Commissioners' Technical Resource Enhancement Act."
We encourage all members of SBE to send letters to their Senators and
Representative in Congress, expressing support for S.2881 and R.4809. We
have provided a sample letter for you to use as a guideline.
Vinny Lopez, CEV, CBNT
Society of Broadcast Engineers
"The FCC Commissioners' Technical Resource Enhancement Act"
March 31, 2010
One of the SBE's Legislative Goals is "To promote the maintenance or
increase of technical expertise within the FCC to ensure that decision
making by the FCC is based on technical investigation, studies and
evaluation rather than political expenditures." The Society of Broadcast
Engineers supports "The FCC Commissioners' Technical Resource Enhancement
Act" as an extension of that goal.
Senate bill S.2881 was introduced in December 2009 by Senator Olympia Snowe
(R-Maine) and co-sponsored by Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia). This bill
would authorize each FCC commissioner to add one staff assistant position
to the three that are currently authorized. The proposed legislation, which
would amend Section 4(f)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C.
154(f)(2)), explains that the "staff engineer" would provide each
commissioner with technical consultation when appropriate and interface
with the Office of Engineering and Technology, Commission Bureaus and other
technical staff of the Commission for additional technical input and
resources. The staff engineer would need to hold an undergraduate or
graduate degree from an institution of higher education in his or her
respective field of expertise.
Subsequently, a companion bill (HR.4809) was introduced in the US House on
March 10 by Representative Jerry McNerney (D) of California.. With a House
bill now introduced, the legislation will hopefully move through the
committee process in both chambers of Congress. Introduction of the
resolution came after representatives of the Society of Broadcast Engineers
met with his Washington staff on March 3. The SBE Government Relations
Chairman Barry Thomas, CPBE CBNT and General Counsel Chris Imlay visited
offices of several House members over two days to garner support for a
companion to the Senate bill.
If passed, the new authorization would effectively undo a loosening of
requirements for technical staff at the highest level of the FCC that began
more than 25 years ago. The SBE's efforts in support are, among other
An effort to counter inaccurate or hyperbolic claims by providing
technical expertise at the policy level.
To help the FCC avoid significant and expensive mistakes resulting from
decisions made based on political instead of technical realities (for
example, Broadband over Power Lines).
Enable better commissioner access for the extensive experience and
expertise currently available at the FCC Bureaus.
The SBE's strategy is to provide education and information to its members
and chapters so that they can engage in individual advocacy with their
Senators and Representatives. The SBE will also submit materials and
conduct meetings as necessary and will join with strategic partners in
their efforts to support this legislation. The SBE encourages chapters to
host meetings about this topic to educate and engage interested parties.
SBE members are specifically asked to contact their U.S. Representatives
and Senators and urge them to co-sponsor or at least support House
Resolution HR.4809 and Senate Bill S.2881, respectively.
We recommend the following details for your individual letters:
Identify the bill by number and title: for example H.R. 4809, the ""FCC
Commissioners' Technical Resource Enhancement Act". Keep the letter brief
and on topic - one page at the most.
Ask the Representative to consider becoming a cosponsor and support this
Thank him or her for the consideration.
Simple is better: Representatives and their staffs are looking to gauge
interest and support for the bill. A lengthy multipage letter that strays
off topic can detract from the focus of asking for support for this
A sample letter is available here, although letters using your own words
Should you choose to email the letter, send it as an attachment to the
email as opposed to including it in the text of the email. Also, the SBE
would appreciate receiving a copy of your letter sent to:
John Poray, Executive Director,
Society of Broadcast Engineers
9102 Meridian Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Some resources for further research are:
The text of Senate bill S.2881:
The text of House Resolution HR.4809:
Contact information for your U.S. Representative:
Contact information for your U.S. Senator:
House Companion Resolution Introduced to S.2881 (March 10, 2010)
Senate Bill S.2881 Clears Senate Committee (March 25, 2010)
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