NH House Bill 1644

ARRL logoNew Hampshire Section Manager Peter Stohrer, K1PJS, writes on the NH ARRL Members List on February 8, 2022 at 8:24 PM:

Hello NH ARRL Members,

House Bill 1644 was introduced to the NH House which would require 5G telecommunication antenna to be placed at least 1,640 feet from residentially zoned areas, parks, playgrounds, hospitals, nursing homes, day care centers, and schools. Also, the bill seeks to address concerns regarding potential RF exposure. The bill appears to be aimed primarily at wireless 5G applications but enough ambiguity in the wording has raised legitimate concerns that other non 5G radio services including amateur radio could be impacted.

The House Science, Technology and Energy Committee voted 17 to 4 on February 7, 2022 to recommend to the House that the bill be sent to interim study. If the recommendation is passed by the full House, a committee will be established and likely meet over the summer to determine whether legislation is recommended in the next term or not.

NH ARRL Leadership along with Director Kemmerer, AB1OC, and Vice Director Temples, K9HI, will be closely monitoring the House action and activity of the study committee if established regarding this bill.

A full reading of the bill can be found at:

https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billinfo.aspx?id=1725&inflect=2

73

Pete, K1PJS
NH SM

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ARRL New Hampshire Section
Section Manager: Peter J Stohrer, K1PJS
k1pjs@arrl.org
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Proposed NH Bill Seeks to Place Limitations on “Telecommunications Towers”

UPDATE: 02/07/22 11:13 AM

Rep. Peter Torosain (R-NH), W1CBY, has learned from the chair of the House Science and Technology Committee dealing with HB 1644 that the bill will be sent to Interim Study, which effectively stops the bill in its current form. 

We must be vigilant in tracking this bill and how it evolves in the legislative process. The division leadership will  continue to closely monitor for further developments and have asked New Hampshire Section Manager Peter Stohrer, K1PJS, as well as our friends in the New Hampshire legislature to keep us  informed on further developments. 


NH State House, ConcordNew England Division Director Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, writes:

I wanted to bring New Hampshire HB1644 to the attention of New Hampshire hams. This legislation has the potential to significantly restrict the ability of NH Hams to erect antennas. You can register your opinion on this legislation prior to a hearing by the NH House Science and Technology Committee which is scheduled for TOMORROW. See the links below where NH residents can register their opinions online about this legislation before the committee hearing.

Jim Isaac writes on the Granite State ARA mailing list:

HB1644, up for hearing Monday at 1 PM by the House Science and Technology Committee has the following text:
 
“IX.  The placement of telecommunication antennas on any existing structure, existing pole, new pole, or tower constructed after the enactment of this paragraph shall be placed at least 1,640 feet from residentially zoned areas, parks, playgrounds, hospitals, nursing homes, day care centers, and schools.”
 
As noted in a BIA article in today’s Union Leader, this restricts many wireless (actually, all wireless) technology in most areas of NH.
 
Full text of the bill (most seeking to justify the limitation) see:
 
If you wish to oppose (or support), and/or comment on this to the committee before the hearing, you can do this at:
https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/committees/remotetestimony/default.aspx (hearing date: Feb 7, committee: Science & Technology at 1PM, bill 1644)
 
It is not clear, given the very broad “findings” that the bill is based on how a more focused bill could be constructed, assuming it should be.
 

Best wishes,
Jim Isaak

Advocating the expansion to universal affordable broadband

2019/20 Chair IEEE USA Committee on Communications Policy
2020/21 NH IEEE Section Chair , IEEE NH Section
2015 Vice President, IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology;
President Emeritus, IEEE Computer Society
2003/2004 IEEE Division VIII Director

www.JimIsaak.com

ARLB032 ARRL to Oppose Forest Service Administrative Fees for Amateur Facilities

NOTE: THE DEADLINE DATE FOR FILING COMMENTS OPPOSING THE IMPOSITION OF FEES ON AMATEUR RADIO USERS IS FEBRUARY 22, 2022

Go to <https://www.regulations.gov/document/FS-2022-0001-0001>

ARRL Bulletin 32  ARLB032
From ARRL Headquarters 
Newington CT  December 28, 2021
To all radio amateurs

SB QST ARL ARLB032
ARLB032 ARRL to Oppose Forest Service Administrative Fees for Amateur Facilities

The US Forest Service is proposing to implement a statutorily required annual fee for new and existing communications use
authorizations to cover the costs of administering its authorization program. ARRL plans to vigorously oppose the imposition of the proposed fees on Amateur Radio.

The Forest Service proposal results from requirements set forth in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (aka “the Farm Bill”). Specifically, section 8705(c)(3)(b) of the Farm Bill directs the Forest Service to issue regulations that require fees for issuing communications use authorizations based on the cost to the Agency for maintenance or other activities to be performed by the Agency “as a result of the location or modification of a communications facility.”

The Forest Service is responsible for managing Federal lands and authorizes the use and occupancy of National Forest System (NFS) lands for communications facilities that provide communications services for adjacent rural and urban communities. The Agency said in its proposal that it administers more than 3,700 special use authorizations on NFS lands for infrastructure that supports more than 10,000 wireless communications uses at 1,367 communications sites.

According to the Forest Service Notice published in the December 22, 2021 issue of the Federal Register, revenues from the proposed fee, “would provide the funds necessary to support a more modernized, efficient, and enhanced communications use program,” and will “cover the costs of administering the Agency’s communications use program.” Costs, as laid out in section 8705(f)(4) of the Farm Bill, may include expenditures for such things as “on-site reviews of communications sites, developing communications site management plans, hiring and training personnel for the communications use program, conducting internal and external outreach for and national oversight of the communications use program, and obtaining or improving access to communications sites on NFS lands.”

ARRL encourages Amateur Radio licensees to file comments opposing the imposition of the proposed administrative fee on Amateur Radio users. Comments must be received in writing by no later than February 22, 2022.

Comments may be submitted online at the Federal Rulemaking Portal at, https://www.regulations.gov/ , or via USPS mail to Director, Lands & Realty Management Staff, 201 14th Street SW, Washington, DC 20250-1124, and must include the identifier “RIN 0596-AD44.”

FCC Application Fees Unlikely to Go into Effect Until 2022

From ARRL Web:

08/16/2021 – The schedule of FCC amateur radio application fees likely will not go into effect before 2022. FCC staff confirmed during a recent virtual meeting with Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) that the agency is still working on the necessary changes to the Universal Licensing System (ULS) software and other processes and procedures that must be in place before it starts collecting fees from amateur applicants. Earlier this year, the FCC said it would not start collecting fees from amateur applicants before this summer. The new estimate is that the fees won’t go into effect until early next year.

Once it’s effective, the $35 application fee will apply to new, modification (upgrade and sequential call sign change), renewal, and vanity call sign applications. All fees will be per application. Administrative update applications, such as those to change a licensee’s name, mailing, or email address, will be exempt from fees. ARRL VEC manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, said Volunteer Examiner (VE) teams will not face the burden of collecting the $35 fee.

“Once the FCC application fee takes effect, new and upgrade applicants will pay the exam session fee to the VE team as usual, but they’ll pay the $35 application fee directly to the FCC using the FCC Pay Fees system,” she explained. When the FCC receives the examination information from the VEC, it will email a link with payment instructions to each successful candidate who then will have 10 days from the date of the email to pay.

After the fee is paid and the FCC has processed an application, examinees will receive a second email from the FCC with a link to their official license. The link will be good for 30 days. Licensees also will be able to view, download, and print official license copies by logging into their FCC ULS account. The FCC no longer provides printed licenses.

Licensees can log into the ULS with their 10-digit FRN (FCC Registration Number) and password at any time to view and manage their license and application, print their license, and update anything in their FCC license record, including adding an email address.

FEE SCHEDULE

INDIVIDUALS

$35 FEE: New, modification (upgrade and sequential call sign change), renewal, and vanity call sign applications. All fees will be per application.

NO FEE: Administrative updates, such as a change of name, mailing or email address, or license cancellation.

AMATEUR RADIO CLUBS

$35 FEE: New, renewal, trustee change, and vanity call sign applications. All fees will be per application.

NO FEE: Administrative updates, such as a change of name, mailing or email address, or license cancellation

Framingham Amateur Misha Filippov, KD1MF, Wins in MA Land Court Decision

Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, writes:

Filippova v. Framingham ZBA, Trial Court, Massachusetts Land Court, 20 MISC 000073(HPS))
Attorneys for Mr. Filippov: Fred Hopengarten, K1VR (Lincoln, MA), and Ethan Dively (Wellesley, MA).

The Building Commissioner granted a building permit for an 80’-tall amateur radio tower as an accessory use. The ZBA revoked the permit, applying the setback requirements of the Wireless Communications Facilities (WCF) special permit Bylaw to the tower proposed by Misha Filippov, KD1MF. The Land Court reversed, annulling the decision of the ZBA and ordering the Building Commissioner to reinstate the permit.

The WCF Bylaw’s definition of a tower is very broad, and the ham’s tower appeared to fit within that definition – causing the ZBA to require the WCF setback of structure height plus 20’. However, the next sentence in the same WCF paragraph required that “any such facility shall be a minimum of three hundred feet from a residential zoning district or residential use.” The Board suggested that KD1MF “re- apply to place the tower in a more central location on the lot, farther away from the abutters.”

The court recognized that amateur radio towers, under the Framingham Bylaw, are exempt from special permit requirements. The court wrote: “By its decision, the Board has taken the position that it may pick and choose which of those requirements will remain applicable to uses that are, by the explicit terms of the Bylaw, exempt from the special permit requirement. No reasonable reading of the Bylaw permits this unfettered exercise of discretion.” The court decided that it could not accept the Board’s construction of the Bylaw “if the consequences of doing so are absurd or unreasonable, such that it could not have been what the [legislative body] intended.”

The court decided that applying the accessory use setback for amateur radio towers was “[t]he only result that gives effect to the entire Bylaw and is consonant with common sense and reasonableness. This conclusion is buttressed by the Board’s inelegant attempt to reconcile irreconcilable provisions of the Bylaw by simply declaring that it has the discretion to pick and choose which shall apply.”

“[T]he Board appears to have claimed the roving and unfettered discretion to selectively apply and to disregard dimensional requirements as it chooses.”

This was not a PRB-1 decision, but rather a question of which setback rule applied. Mr. Filippov is a very happy radio amateur.

[See also: “Neighbors are fighting a Framingham man’s OK to erect 80-foot ham radio tower“]

 

W1DAN Featured on Pittsfield Community TV, WTBR-FM, May 19, 2021

Dan Brown, W1DAN, will be the featured guest on Ham On!, simulcast on Pittsfield (MA) Community Television and WTBR-FM 89.7 on May 19, 2021. Dan will speak about the new RF Exposure rules that went into effect on May 3, 2021. 

The early morning program is produced and moderated by Western MA Assistant Section Traffic Manager Peter Mattice, KD2JKV.  

RF Exposure Rules Presentation Video Recording

screenshot from RF Exposure presentationMany amateurs have requested a recording of the RF Exposure Rules presentation featuring Eastern MA Technical Coordinator Dan Brown, W1DAN on May 4, 2021.  ARRL Laboratory Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI also participated in the call, fielding questions from the audience.

The presentation can be viewed at: <https://youtu.be/7dSieKF3rm0>. 

[See also: Additional RF Exposure Rules Presentation, May 4, 2021]

Additional RF Exposure Rules Presentation, May 4, 2021

Dan Brown, W1DANEastern MA Technical Coordinator Dan Brown, W1DAN, will hold another presentation addressing the new FCC RF exposure rules on May 4 at 7:30 PM using the ARRL GoToWebinar platform. 

His April 27 talk was a hugely successful–a maximum number of 100 connections for the call was reached just as the discussion started. The GoToWebinar has a much higher limit and should accommodate all who are interested.  ARRL Laboratory Manger Ed Hare, W1RFI, will serve as Technical Moderator on the call.

To sign up for the presentation, visit:

Tech Support: (833) 851-8340
 

RF Exposure Rules Discussion Video Posted to Internet

Dan Brown, W1DAN screenshotFrom ema.arrl.org:

 The April 27, 2021 RF Exposure Rules Zoom Discussion by Eastern MA Technical Coordinator Dan Brown, W1DAN, has been posted to the Eastern MA ARRL website at: <https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1_qIGZhHyMrha-axJt87Dcu0UZuJO0t8F>. 

The discussion was a huge hit. The maximum number of 100 connections for the call was hit just as the discussion started; many late arrivals were disappointed to be turned away, but W1DAN plans to hold at least one additional online discussion before the May 3 deadline using a larger “Zoom room.” 

Watch this space for details. 

FCC Issues Enforcement Advisory: Radio Users Again Reminded Not to Use Radios in Crimes

FCC sealARLB013:

On April 20, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a new Enforcement Advisory, repeating the admonishments contained in a January Advisory that no licensee or user of the Amateur or Personal Radio Services may use any radio equipment in connection with unlawful activities of any nature.

The Enforcement Advisory can be found online in PDF format at https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-453A1.pdf.

The Commission specifically cautioned that individuals found to have used radios in connection with any illegal activity are “subject to severe penalties, including significant fines, seizure of the offending equipment, and in some cases, criminal prosecution.”

In addition, licensees should be aware that illegal operation in any service or band, including completely outside the amateur allocations, could potentially disqualify a person from holding any FCC license in any service, not just the Amateur Service.

Any amateur observing a suspicious infraction that might be of illegal or criminal nature should report it to their local law enforcement office or the FBI.