An example of an Amateur Radio Station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In a public notice released Monday, The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau seek comments on the importance of the enhanced Amateur Radio Communications service, also inquiring as to any impediments of the service , with an example being "the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use restrictions on residential antenna installations"
This inquiry is a product of the mandated study on utilization of Amateur Radio in emergencies and Federal regulation of private land use restrictions on amateur antennas, included in the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012” signed into law February 22, 2012.
The study asks two distinct questions, “Importance of emergency Amateur Radio Service communications” and “Impediments to enhanced Amateur Radio Service communications.”
The report cites several recent examples from the American Radio Relay League on the importance of amateur radio operators during disaster, such as when amateur radio operators provided storm observations and damage reports to the National Weather Service when winds and tornadoes moved through Arkansas and Alabama in January 2012, and provided communications to villages along the Bering Sea when a November 2011 severe winter storm knocked out power lines and communications.
The commenting period is only 45 days, ending on May 17th, 2012. commenting is open to interested parties via the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). The report urges commenting parties to organize their comments using specific guidelines provided within the public notice.