The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2011 (HR 3630) includes a provision about an amateur radio study to be conducted by the FCC. The Senate passed this bill on Saturday, Dec. 17 with amendments and it previously passed the House on Dec. 13 (vote details). ARRL has said that they long sought after such a study.
In the bill, Title IV, Sec. 4205 states that the FCC will study the uses and capabilities of amateur radio service communications in emergencies and disaster relief. This study will be submitted to committees in the House and Senate. Details of the study include:
- A review of the importance of emergency amateur radio service communications relating to disasters, severe weather, and other threats to lives and property.
- Recommendations for enhancements in the voluntary deployment of amateur radio operators in disaster and emergency communications and disaster relief efforts.
- Recommendations for improved integration of amateur radio operators in the planning and furtherance of initiatives of the Federal Government.
- The identification of impediments to enhanced amateur radio service communications, such as the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use restrictions on residential antenna installations.
- Recommendations regarding the removal of such impediments.
The bill also states that the FCC will use the expertise of the amateur radio, emergency response, and disaster communications communities to conduct this study.
Title IV is a provision from the Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS) Act which passed the Communications and Technology Subcommittee on Dec. 1.