[TowerTalk] S. 1350

Press W Jones n8ug@juno.com
Wed, 26 Nov 1997 15:29:16 EST

FYI - here's a copy of the summary referred to at the end of the
referenced thread, OK'd for sharing by N1MZA.

"The following summarizes a longer article that will appear in the
1998 issue of QST in my DC Currents column.

S. 1350, introduced in the Senate by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy would,
passed, expand the authority of states and municipalities to regulate the

construction and location of commercial telecommunications, radio or 
television towers.

S. 1350 is not directed at Amateur Radio, nor would it have an immediate 
effect upon it.  However, S. 1350 could undermine the FCC*s existing
of federal preemption over Amateur Radio antennas. It could also be an 
obstacle to ARRL*s current efforts to obtain a broader FCC preemption
regarding RFI regulation, and could create an incentive for FCC to limit,

its existing amateur antenna preemption policy, codified in Section
of the FCC rules. Over the long term, it could subject amateurs to state
local RFI regulations that may be stricter than those adopted by the FCC,

and could lead to the erosion of the concept of federal preemption of all

telecommunications matters. For these reasons, ARRL will be meeting with
staff in the Senate to air our concerns when Congress re-convenes.

While it is impossible to predict the outcome of legislative initiatives 
with any certainty, S. 1350 is not likely to pass in its current form.

First, it would overturn one of Congress* own policies, codified in the 
Telecommunications Act of 1996. Based on the premise that a robust system
telecommunication is in the national interest, that act requires
federal preemption in the siting of telecommunications facilities (with
caveats). Lots of blood was shed getting that act passed, and Congress is

unlikely to reopen old wounds without reason.

Second, to have a chance at life, S. 1350 would need to pass muster with
Senate Commerce Committee. The powerful committee chairman and gatekeeper

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is said to unenthusiastic about this sort of 
Third, and perhaps most important, it has having already stirred
from The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, the Personal 
Communication Industry Association, and other well-funded interests in
commercial mobile radio service community.

What ought to give the amateur community pause may not be this bill in 
particular, but rather, the emerging public policy debate it represents.
1350 questions the long-standing concept of federal preemption in order
try to balance the aesthetic and RFI concerns of municipalities. The
themselves are old; what is new is that instead of taking place among 
telecommunications experts in the quiet back rooms of the FCC and other 
agencies, now they take place in public view among members of Congress.

We will continue to keep ARRL membership apprised of this issue as it 

73, Steve Mansfield/N1MZA
Manager, Legislative & Public Affairs

Press Jones, N8UG, The Wireman, Inc., Landrum, SC 29356
use n8ug@juno.com or (864) 895-4195 for tech help
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