ARRL Needs You to Help With A Final Push for the Amateur Radio Parity Act in this Congress

  • 4
  • Idea
  • Updated 3 years ago

Dear Amateur Radio Operator,


I am writing to you today because we are nearing the end of the 114th Congress and the efforts to obtain passage of The Amateur Radio Parity Act are at a critical juncture. With a few short weeks left to the year, we must get this bill passed NOW or we will need to start all over again come January 1, 2017.


As you know, thanks to your previous efforts, the legislative efforts scored a major victory in our campaign when the Amateur Radio Parity Act, H.R. 1301, passed in the House of Representatives on September 12th. The legislation is now in the Senate in two forms – as H.R. 1301 and alternately in the packaged bill S. 253.  We still need every Senator to approve the bill.


You are one of over 730,000 licensed Amateur Radio Operators living in the United States.  Many of you already live in deed-restricted communities, and that number grows daily.


We asked you for your help in September - and you responded in great numbers.  We collected over 63,000 emails that were distributed to every single U.S. Senator.  That is amazing. However, with the election hiatus over, each and every Senator must be reminded that their business is not complete until this important legislation affecting hams is passed and sent to the President.


Even if you wrote in the past, we need you to write again!




  • If you want to have effective outdoor antennas but are not currently allowed to do so by your Home Owner’s Association, PLEASE SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!  


  • If you don’t live in a deed-restricted community but you care about the future of Amateur Radio, please support your avocation and your fellow hams and SEND THESE EMAILS TODAY!


We need you to reach out one more time to your Senators TODAY!  Right away Right now!


Help us in the effort.  Please go to this linked website and follow the prompts: 


Thank you.



Rick Roderick, K5UR       

ARRL - The national association for Amateur Radio®

Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3735 Posts
  • 1599 Reply Likes

Posted 3 years ago

  • 4
Photo of k3Tim


  • 901 Posts
  • 186 Reply Likes

 This is really - really - R E A L L Y - needed.

Photo of Dan -- KC4GO

Dan -- KC4GO

  • 340 Posts
  • 70 Reply Likes
Photo of Ernest - W4EG

Ernest - W4EG

  • 215 Posts
  • 39 Reply Likes
Done here in the southeast and passed  along to other ham and email friends.
Photo of Paul Christensen, W9AC

Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

  • 323 Posts
  • 138 Reply Likes
I have sent a request to the editors of and to make this call-to-action a priority as a top banner on their sites.  I encourage others to request the same.  Although QRZ and eHam members span more than the U.S., a substantial portion of their followers are impacted by the outcome. 

Paul, W9AC
Photo of Bob G   W1GLV


  • 750 Posts
  • 136 Reply Likes
We did our duty +
Photo of Robbie - KI4TTZ

Robbie - KI4TTZ

  • 484 Posts
  • 78 Reply Likes
Done! :)
Photo of N5LB - Lionel B

N5LB - Lionel B

  • 217 Posts
  • 63 Reply Likes
Done, plus tweet, plus called.
Photo of Mike Smoot

Mike Smoot

  • 26 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Photo of Burch - K4QXX

Burch - K4QXX

  • 519 Posts
  • 122 Reply Likes
Photo of Tom--W4FAS


  • 44 Posts
  • 10 Reply Likes
Tom, w4fas
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
This is the advantage of life in ARRL country (CT).

@Howard - Where does the bill sit in the Senate? Is it on the docket?
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3735 Posts
  • 1599 Reply Likes
No idea if it's on the docket as there are two versions
Photo of Mark WS7M

Mark WS7M

  • 505 Posts
  • 150 Reply Likes
Done!   Does it make sense to send multiple emails?  I'd be willing to do one a day even or more.

As one living in an HOA I'm really hopeful this will help me to fight off any "antenna concerns" our HOA may have.   I'm not planning a 200' tower but I'd like to put up a short tower and a beam in my back yard.   Quite frankly they'd be almost invisbile to people unless you walked on my property to take a look.

But in fear of the HOA and our tendency to take legal action I have stuck with wires and antennas in trees.

Photo of Larry Emery

Larry Emery

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Done...  And passed on to others in the local Club.
Photo of Norm - W7CK

Norm - W7CK

  • 754 Posts
  • 160 Reply Likes
Wife and I both completed and sent.  Also passed on to others.   Boy I really hope this makes it through the Senate and then on to the Pres desk without delay.

Does anyone have the latest update?  I know it made it through the House without any issues, but that was well over a month ago.

Norm - W7CK
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3735 Posts
  • 1599 Reply Likes

Update from, K4FMH

With the push by the ARRL on contacting your Senators now out in emails and their webpage, I thought I'd touch base with my Senator, Roger Wicker (R-MS), to see why the earlier ARRL note that a voice vote was scheduled for November has now gone silent. I've phrased my note as being from "some ham in Mississippi" to tease Chris Imlay W3KD of the ARRL since he used that term when describing how the Senate Bill (S. 1635) got submitted. Other than a private note of thanks from the Past President of the League, Kay Craigie N3KN, I've heard nothing from them since I get them in contact with my Senator to follow-up my constituent request for the submission of a companion bill to that in the House. I had already gotten my Congressman, Greg Harper (R-MS) . (No negative sentiment here...just the facts.)

Today, I spoke with Senator Wicker's Telecommunications Advisor about the status of the revised Senate Bill (S. 253) given the pending end of this Congress. Here's the deal: the projected voice vote on the bill, S. 253, which would send the consolidated bill to the President for his signature has been put on hold. Here's why: a proposed FCC Commissioner has been a sticking point for Senator Nelson (D-FL) which as resulted a hold on ALL telecommunications bills. Unless Senator Nelson can be pursuaded to accomodate other telecommunications bills moving forward, the Amateur Radio Parity Act will die at the end of this Congress.

What needs to happen is two-fold:

1. The 40,000+ licensed hams in Florida should put a strong push on Senator Nelson's office to pursuade him to reach across the aisle and let the S. 253 bill come up for a vote during THIS sesson of Congress.

2. The ARRL needs to get their local Senator, Mr. Blumenthal (D-CT), to caucus with fellow Democrat Nelson to get this S. 253 released for a vote. It is bipartison and there are apparently no political issues with the existing Parity Act except that it's just caught in the politics of a nominated FCC Commissioner. The latter is simply more important politically than amateur radio but 40,000 constituents can be a powerful force for Mr. Nelson.

Florida hams can contact Senator Nelson as a constituent request at: (202) 224-5274. Ask him to support S. 253 coming up now for a vote. You can send email to him at this webpage: OR via the ARRL webpage at

Contact the ARRL to encourage them to get their local Senator, Mr. Blumental Blumenthal to caucus with Senator Nelson at: 888-277-5289.

Should the Amateur Radio Parity Act fail to come to a vote in the Senate, the legislation is dead. There is no commitment by Senator Wicker to resubmit the bill in the next Congress but I will take that up with him in early 2017.

This is our best shot at getting something to assist hams living in HOA-controlled neighborhoods. Regardless of your own feelings about the approach taken by the League in helping to shape the narrative in the Bills, please consider supporting this effort through your own Senator. To simply get amateur radio this high up on the radar in Congress is somewhat amazing so let's don't let it fail now.


Frank Howell
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3735 Posts
  • 1599 Reply Likes

Florida Senator Nelson is holding up the bill

Florida hams can contact Senator Nelson as a constituent request at: (202) 224-5274. Ask him to support S. 253 coming up now for a vote. You can send email to him at this webpage: OR via the ARRL webpage at

Photo of Paul Christensen, W9AC

Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

  • 323 Posts
  • 138 Reply Likes
I'm in FL.  There's no excuse for extortion tactics (i.e., listen to me on the commissioner post or I'll hold up pending legislation).  This is just one reason why the legislative swamp must be drained due to political posturing.  

My letter is going out today via FedEx on my law office letterhead.  They tend to take written communication from attorneys more seriously. 

We also need to see more vendors engaged on this issue.  Major suppliers (Flex included) should be adding banners to their websites.  Help us to help you with sales.  Better access to home antennas means increased equipment sales.  Even today, the ARRL's home page has but one story link, lost in the middle of the page.  Why isn't this story on their big moving banner? 

Paul, W9AC
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
That was certainly true prior to the Anthrax being sent to congressman via FedEx. Not so certain now, esp a dem senator in FL given what just happened.

As the saying goes, you won't know until you try.

Also huge HOA presence in FL, so I'd expect a lot of push back there. As Tim Russert said, "Florida, Florida, Florida"
Photo of Ernest - W4EG

Ernest - W4EG

  • 215 Posts
  • 39 Reply Likes
I just called Senator Nelson's office and the office said that the Bill is waiting for President Obama's signature.

I live in his district-18 Nov 16 at 9:40am  - W4EG
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

  • 3724 Posts
  • 1578 Reply Likes
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
there's an app for that, what's the bill number(s)?
Photo of Walt - KZ1F

Walt - KZ1F

  • 3040 Posts
  • 645 Reply Likes
It was exactly a year ago today the senate version was past out of Sen Wicker (R-MS) committee.
Photo of Paul Christensen, W9AC

Paul Christensen, W9AC, Elmer

  • 323 Posts
  • 138 Reply Likes
This just came to my e-mail from the ARRL.  FL ops - we need your immediate support through calls and letters to Nelson's offices.  Pass it on.  My law office FedEx letter went out last Thursday.

Paul, W9AC


From: ARRL Web site []
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2016 10:25 AM
Subject: ARRL Needs You To Telephone Senator Nelson Immediately

To All Our ARRL Members in Florida –

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), is still not supporting H.R. 1301 / S.253 the Amateur Radio Parity Act.

In fact, Senator Nelson has placed a “hold” on the legislation, effectively barring consideration of the Bill despite its widespread bipartisan support.  If this hold isn’t removed, the bill will die in the Senate and require the process to completely start over when the new Congress begins on January 1, 2017.

You are one of well over 40,000 licensed Amateur Radio operators living in Florida.  Many of you already live in deed-restricted communities, and that number grows daily.

We need you to reach out to Senator Nelson TODAY!  Right away.  We know that thousands of you have written to the Senator.  NOW IS THE TIME TO CALL HIM ON THE PHONE, tell him you’re a constituent, that you support H.R. 1301 and S.253, demand that he stop blocking the Bill, and to support the legislation to its passage.

Here are his phone numbers.  Please call your local office AND the Washington D.C. office.

Office                                 Phone
Washington D.C.:            202-224-5274

Broward                               954-693-4851

Fort Myers                          239-334-7760

Jacksonville                        904-346-4500

Miami-Dade                       305-536-5999
Orlando                            407-872-7161 or toll free in Florida: 1-888-671-4091

Tallahassee                         850-942-8415

Tampa                                  813-225-7040

West Palm Beach             561-514-0189

Thank you.
Very 73,

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Rick Roderick, K5UR
ARRL - The national association for Amateur Radio®

This e-mail was sent by ARRL, and contains timely information of importance to all radio amateurs. It was sent by ARRL to current members in Florida. Your email address was not shared with any third party.

Photo of Rick Hadley - W0FG

Rick Hadley - W0FG

  • 599 Posts
  • 130 Reply Likes
We have a condo in Florida.  I called both the DC & Ft Myers offices and made the appeal.
Photo of Walt


  • 236 Posts
  • 75 Reply Likes
Just to note - senate bill S253 is a LOT MORE than just ham radio towers.  It deals with several aspects of the Communications Act.

The ham stuff is just one section in a rather complicated bill.  The hams supporting the section is Very Important - and needs all the support we can give it - but that's not all that's being changed and some lawmakers may not agree with this bill as written.

If you really want to know, keep reading . .

This is taken from 

Passed House amended (09/27/2016)

Communications Act Update Act of 2016


(Sec. 101) This bill amends the Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to complete a rulemaking proceeding to adopt rules establishing:

  • minimum comment and reply periods for rulemakings;
  • policies to ensure that the public has notice and an opportunity to respond to comments, ex parte communications, or materials submitted toward the end of, or after, the comment period;
  • deadlines for public notice, and guidelines for disposition, of certain petitions; and
  • procedures to include the specific language of proposed rules or amendments in proposed rulemaking notices.

The rules must also establish procedures for publishing on the FCC's website and submitting to Congress reports regarding: (1) the status of open rulemakings and items circulated for FCC commissioners' review; (2) the number of pending petitions, applications, complaints, and other requests for action by the FCC and the amount of time such requests have been pending; and (3) pending congressional investigations of the FCC and the cost of such investigations. The website postings and reports must be updated at least quarterly.

Performance measures must be included in notices of proposed rulemakings or orders that would create or substantially change a program activity. A "program activity" is a specific activity or project as listed in the program and financing schedules of the U.S. annual budget, including any annual collection or distribution or related series of collections or distributions by the FCC of $100 million or more.

The FCC must seek public comment on whether it should establish procedures to: (1) allow a bipartisan majority of commissioners to place items on an open meeting agenda; (2) publish in advance of open meetings the text of agenda items on which the FCC will vote; (3) ensure that commissioners have adequate time, prior to a required decision, to review the proposed decision document, including the specific rule or any proposed amendments; (4) provide deadlines for the disposition of certain license applications; and (5) publish orders, decisions, reports, and actions within 30 days after adoption.

The Government Accountability Office must audit the FCC's estimates of the costs of congressional investigations of the FCC.

The FCC must initiate a new rulemaking proceeding every five years to continue its consideration of procedural rule changes.

A bipartisan majority of commissioners may hold a nonpublic meeting, including a meeting to collaborate with joint boards or conferences, if: (1) no votes or actions are taken, and (2) an attorney from the FCC's Office of General Counsel is present. Such a closed meeting must be disclosed within two business days after the meeting, along with a list of persons in attendance and a summary of discussed matters, provided that such matters are not classified or otherwise exempt from disclosure.

The FCC must provide on its website: (1) information regarding the FCC's budget, appropriations, and total number of full-time equivalent employees; (2) the FCC's annual performance plan; and (3) information about consumer complaints in a publicly available, searchable database.

The chair of the FCC must also publish on the website policies established by the chair that relate to the FCC's functioning or its agenda.

The FCC must complete actions necessary for the required publication of documents in the Federal Register within specified time frames.

The FCC must inform the public about its performance and efficiency in meeting disclosure and other requirements under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), including by: (1) publishing on the FCC website its logs for managing FOIA requests and associated fees, (2) releasing decisions to grant or deny requests, and (3) presenting information about the number of FOIA requests received and granted or denied by the FCC in its annual budget estimates and annual performance and financial reports.

By January 15 of each year, the FCC must publish on its website and in other required formats an anticipated release schedule for all statistical reports and reports to Congress.

The bill requires annual reports to Congress on the FCC's performance in conducting its proceedings and meeting the deadlines and guidelines established by this bill.

(Sec. 102) In compiling its quarterly report with respect to informal consumer inquiries and complaints, the FCC is prohibited from categorizing an inquiry or complaint under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (places restrictions on telephone solicitations and automatic dialing systems) as a wireline or wireless inquiry or complaint unless a wireline or wireless carrier was the subject of the inquiry or complaint.

(Sec. 104) The Universal Service Antideficiency Temporary Suspension Act is amended to extend through 2020 the waiver of certain limitations on: (1) expending, obligating, or apportioning appropriations with respect to federal universal service contributions collected or received under the Communications Act of 1934; and (2) expending or obligating funds attributable to such contributions for universal service support programs.

(Sec. 105) The FCC must consult with the Small Business Administration to report to Congress with actions and recommendations to improve participation of small businesses in FCC proceedings.

(Sec. 106) For items adopted by an FCC vote, the FCC must publish on its website the text of the adopted items within 24 hours after the FCC Secretary has received all dissenting statements from commissioners.


(Sec. 201) This title replaces various reporting requirements with a communications marketplace report that the FCC is required to publish on its website and submit to Congress every two years assessing: (1) competition in the communications marketplace; (2) deployment of communications capabilities, including whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion; and (3) whether laws, regulations, or regulatory practices pose a barrier to competitive entry or expansion of existing providers of communications services.

The report must describe the FCC's actions in the marketplace and its agenda for the next two years.

The FCC must: (1) compile a list of geographic areas that are not served by any provider of advanced telecommunications capability; and (2) consider market entry barriers for entrepreneurs and small businesses in accordance with national policy favoring diversity of media voices, competition, technological advancement, and promotion of the public interest, convenience, and necessity.

The FCC's competition assessments must include the aggregate average total amount paid by cable systems for retransmission consent.

(Sec. 202) The title repeals or consolidates various reports of the FCC and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, including reports on satellite competition, international broadband, video programming, cable industry prices, small business entry barriers, commercial mobile radio, services to minority and diverse audiences, waivers from requirements prohibiting FCC employees from being financially interested in companies subject to FCC regulation, and several other existing reports.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 is amended to require the FCC to determine from the communications marketplace report every two years (currently, in an inquiry initiated each year) whether it must act immediately to accelerate deployment of advanced telecommunications capabilities, particularly in elementary and secondary schools, by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and promoting competition.


(Sec. 301) This title exempts for five years after enactment of this bill any small business broadband Internet access service provider with no more than 250,000 subscribers from the FCC's enhancements to a transparency rule that requires persons engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service to disclose publicly accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its services sufficient for:

  • consumers to make informed choices regarding their use; and
  • content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.

The FCC shall report its recommendations on whether:

  • this exception should be made permanent, and
  • the definition of "small business" for these purposes should be modified.


Kari's Law Act of 2016

(Sec. 402) This title prohibits businesses from manufacturing or importing for use in the United States, or selling or leasing in the United States, a multi-line telephone system unless it is pre-configured to allow users to directly initiate a call to 9-1-1 (without dialing any additional digit, code, prefix, or post-fix, including any trunk-access code such as the digit "9") from any station equipped with dialing facilities.

Businesses are prohibited from installing, managing, or operating multi-line telephone systems without such a direct 9-1-1 call configuration.

Businesses installing, managing, or operating such systems for use in the United States must configure the systems to provide a notification to a central location at the facility where the system is installed, or to another person or organization regardless of location, if the system is able to be so configured without an improvement to the hardware or software.


(Sec. 501) This title requires the FCC to submit to Congress and publish on the FCC website a study on the public safety benefits, technical feasibility, and cost of providing the public with access to 9-1-1 services during times of emergency when mobile service is unavailable, through:

  • telecommunications service provider-owned WiFi access points and other communications technologies operating on unlicensed spectrum, without requiring any login credentials;
  • non-telecommunications service provider-owned WiFi access points; and
  • other alternative means.

The types of emergencies subject to this bill are: (1) occasions or instances under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act for which the President determines that federal assistance is needed to supplement state and local efforts and capabilities to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States; or (2) an emergency declared by the governor of a state or U.S. territory.

(Sec. 502) The Stafford Act is amended to expand the categories of essential service providers that may access a disaster site to restore and repair essential services in an emergency or major disaster without being denied or impeded by a federal agency. Services to be considered essential are wireline or mobile telephone service, Internet access service, radio or television broadcasting, cable service, or direct broadcast satellite service.


(Sec. 601) This title expands the prohibition against knowingly transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller identification information to apply to: (1) persons outside the United States if the recipient is within the United States, and (2) text messages.

Existing caller identification requirements that apply to calls made using a telecommunications service or IP-enabled voice service are revised to apply to: (1) services interconnected with the public switched telephone network and that furnish voice communications using resources from the North American Numbering Plan; and (2) transmissions from a telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to a telephone facsimile machine.

The FCC must coordinate with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to regularly update education materials that help consumers identify: (1) scams and fraudulent activity that rely upon misleading or inaccurate caller identification information, and (2) existing technologies that consumers can use to protect against such fraud.

The GAO must report on: (1) actions taken, or actions that could be taken, by the FCC or the FTC to combat the fraudulent provision of misleading or inaccurate caller identification information; and (2) any recommendations to combat the fraudulent provision of such information.


(Sec. 701) This title directs the FCC to amend station antenna structure regulations to prohibit a private land use restriction from applying to amateur radio stations if the restriction:

  • precludes communications in an amateur radio service,
  • fails to permit a licensee of amateur radio service to install and maintain an effective outdoor antenna on property under its exclusive use or control, or
  • is not the minimum practicable restriction to accomplish the lawful purposes of a community association seeking to enforce the restriction.

The FCC must require an amateur radio licensee to obtain prior approval from a community association before installing an outdoor antenna. A community association may: (1) prohibit installations on common property not under the exclusive control of the licensee, and (2) establish installation rules for amateur radio antennas and support structures.


(Sec. 801) This title requires intermediate providers that offer the capability to transmit voice communications and signaling information from one destination to another, and that charge a rate to any other entity (including an affiliated entity) for the transmission, to: (1) register with the FCC, and (2) comply with service quality standards to be established by the FCC.

An "intermediate provider" is an entity that: (1) enters a business arrangement with a long-distance voice service provider that makes the initial call path choice for more than 100,000 domestic retail subscriber lines, or with another intermediate provider, to carry, route, or transmit voice traffic from a call placed from or to an end user connection using a North American Numbering Plan resource; and (2) does not itself (directly or in conjunction with an affiliate) serve as such a long-distance initial call path choice provider in the context of originating or terminating a given call.

The title prohibits such long-distance providers (including local exchange carriers, interexchange carriers, commercial mobile radio services, interconnected voice over Internet Protocol [VoIP] services, and certain non-interconnected VoIP services) from using an intermediate provider to transmit voice communications and signals unless the intermediate provider is so registered.

The FCC must: (1) ensure the integrity of the transmission of voice communications to all customers in the United States, (2) prevent unjust or unreasonable discrimination among areas of the United States in the delivery of such voice communications, and (3) make a registry of intermediate providers publicly available on the FCC website.

This title shall not be construed to preempt or expand the authority of a state agency or public utility commission to collect data, or enforce state law and regulations, regarding the completion of intrastate voice communications.

Certain long-distance providers that make initial call path choices are exempt from service quality standards that the FCC is required to establish under this title if they certify under a safe harbor provision in existing FCC rules that they monitor the performance of, or do not use, intermediate providers.

Photo of Larry Rinaldi

Larry Rinaldi

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
how do you open the audio on the 2.7.2  new version for mars cap
Photo of k3Tim


  • 893 Posts
  • 183 Reply Likes
I can't understand why it took so many years (decades) to outlaw caller ID spoofing.
Photo of Dan -- KC4GO

Dan -- KC4GO

  • 339 Posts
  • 70 Reply Likes
Bill Nelson !!!
Photo of Tim - W4TME

Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

  • 9183 Posts
  • 3529 Reply Likes
Larry - if you have a valid MARS license, you submit a HelpDesk support ticket and include the radio's serial number, the version of PowerSDR you are using and an electronic image of your valid MARS license and we'll provide a radio specific software "key" to allow you to operate on the MARS frequencies.
Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2310 Posts
  • 949 Reply Likes
Bill Nelson is in the pocket of the Florida real estate industry. It's no surprise at all. I guess my next QTH when I move I have to choose carefully.