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RE: [RFI] From Communications Daily re: BPL

To: "'Ron Feutz'" <feutz@wctc.net>, <rfi@contesting.com>
Subject: RE: [RFI] From Communications Daily re: BPL
From: "Dave Bernstein" <aa6yq@ambersoft.com>
Reply-to: aa6yq@ambersoft.com
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 02:09:27 -0400
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
Sorry if my reference to President Bush and the current administration
introduced a partisan twist. That was not my intent; I meant only to
cite the recent actions that underly my concerns. As have many before
them, I'm sure that the PLCB would have found ways to exert influence no
matter who runs the show.

Getting heard is hard. Doubtless this is the motive behind the ARRL's
recent (and in my view, belated) decision to establish a lobbying
effort; I was unable to locate the press release on the ARRL web site,
and so have appended it below.

As hams, we do have another "channel": our community involvement. This
work brings us into contact with local officials and decision-makers. We
won't influence many congressmen this way, but a concerted "bottom up"
effort across the entire country could make it more challenging for the
PLCB and utilties to convince local municipalities that BPL is the wave
of the future. Accomplishing this requires packaging up a set of
briefing materials that local ARRL-led teams can use to educate hams in
every area. This isn't very expensive, but it does require a serious
investment of both time and energy. There's no guarantee that this will
be the difference that makes the difference, but if we lose the BPL war
having failed to exploit this channel, it won't just be someone else's


        Dave, AA6YQ

-----Original Message-----
From: ARRL Web site [mailto:memberlist@www.arrl.org] 
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2004 14:31
To: aa6yq@ambersoft.com
Cc: Subscribed ARRL Members:
Subject: ARLB021 ARRL Board Okays Volunteer Grassroots Lobbying Effort

ARLB021 ARRL Board Okays Volunteer Grassroots Lobbying Effort 

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 21  ARLB021 
>From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  July 21, 2004 
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB021 ARRL Board Okays Volunteer Grassroots Lobbying Effort 

The ARRL Board of Directors has formalized a grassroots 
congressional lobbying program with an initial focus on BPL. Acting 
July 16 during its second meeting of 2004 in Windsor, Connecticut, 
the Board acknowledged the need to "immediately begin a BPL 
grassroots lobbying campaign" this year. 

To establish a coordinating structure, the Board created the 
positions of Division Congressional Action Chair, Congressional 
Action Coordinator and Congressional Action Assistant. The Board 
authorized the League's 15 division directors to appoint qualified 
volunteers to these positions. 

Hudson Division Director Frank Fallon, N2FF, who headed the Ad Hoc 
Committee on Grassroots Lobbying, sees the creation of a national 
"political machine" as a practical way to protect Amateur Radio 
spectrum. "We're going to use our members as constituents to talk to 
key legislators," Fallon said after the meeting. While the campaign 
will zero in on BPL in the near term, it eventually could expand to 
support bills dealing with spectrum protection with and deed 
covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) and their impact 
on amateur antennas. 

Fallon said member-constituent contacts can serve to open the door 
to later meetings between members of Congress or their staff members 
and League officials. 

Under the plan the Board adopted, the Division Congressional Action 
Chair, one in each ARRL division, would be a cabinet-level volunteer 
with some experience in lobbying activities. There would be at least 
one Congressional Action Coordinator in each state, ideally selected 
in consultation with section managers. These volunteers also would 
be members of the director's cabinet. Working with the director, the 
Congressional Action Coordinator will designate and develop a number 
of Congressional Action Assistants to "accomplish the mission of 
getting the ARRL message to legislators," the ad hoc committee's 
report explained. 

Fallon said the grassroots lobbying effort will fold into a 
comprehensive broadband over power line strategy, which the Board 
discussed at length but did not make public. The Board expressed the 
hope that the lobbying effort could be up and running by fall. 

-----Original Message-----
From: rfi-bounces@contesting.com [mailto:rfi-bounces@contesting.com] On
Behalf Of Ron Feutz
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 15:06
To: Tom Rauch; Dave Bernstein; ve3zi@rac.ca; rfi@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [RFI] From Communications Daily re: BPL

At 02:21 PM 9/1/2004 -0400, Tom Rauch wrote:

>If technical people still ran the FCC, BPL would never have hatched. 
>Unfortunately it is money running the FCC now. The question is how we 
>get a voice.

No argument with Tom's thesis, but before someone turns this into a 
partisan wrangle, it doesn't matter who is in the White House.  During
previous administration, the FCC changed the rules on 800Mhz to put
business out of the 800Mhz Specialized Mobile Radio business and "turn 
over" the spectrum to a little company you may have heard of, 
Nextel.  There was a revolving door from top FCC posts to well-paid
jobs, culminating with a directorship for William Kennard when he was 
replaced as chairman of the FCC: "Job Well Done".

How do we get heard?  Your guess is as good as mine.  My industry's 
established  lobbying groups were all co-opted by Nextel early on.  We 
formed our own, Small Business in Telecommunications, which had no 
measurable success (that I know of) in presenting our case.

Ron Feutz, WA9IRV
Air Communications of Central Wisconsin, Inc.
715-424-3050 days
715-423-7662 nights
715-572-3621 cell  

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