Thursday, March 3, 2011

March FLASH Newsletter

Attention all Radio Amateurs!

A FLASH message from the West Gulf Division Director, David Woolweaver,

Your assistance to defend one of our amateur bands is urgently
requested.  Please read and follow through on the requested action
described below.  This is an important issue for every Amateur Radio
Operator in the nation.

You may have already heard that our 440 MHz band is being threatened by
a bill introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives.  In its
current form, HR 607 provides for the creation and maintenance of a
nationwide Public Safety broadband network.  As a part of that network,
the bill proposes to allocate the so-called "D-Block" of frequencies
in the 700 MHz range.  The "D-Block" consists of two, 5 MHz wide
segments of spectrum (758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz) that became
available when the FCC ended analog television broadcasts in June 2009.
It was initially expected that the "D-Block" would be auctioned for
commercial use.

HR 607 provides for the reallocation of other spectrum for auction to
commercial users in order to offset the loss of revenue that will occur
as the result of the allocation of the "D-Block" to Public Safety
instead of commercial auction.  Among the bands to be reallocated for
commercial auction within ten years of passage of HR 607 are the paired
bands of 420-440 MHz and 450-470 MHz.

The concept for this proposed network has merit.  Everyone wants first
responders to have the radio systems they need in order to protect
themselves and us.  However, there is absolutely no need to reallocate
for auction the 440 MHz band to make it happen.  We must let our U.S.
Representatives know we oppose the current wording of HR 607.
What can I do?  A web site to automatically prepare a letter opposing
HR 607 has been created to assist you.  Go to

Insert your call sign where indicated and follow the simple
instructions. The name and address of your U.S. Representative will
automatically be inserted into the letter along with your name and
address.  The letter will then be displayed ready to be printed and

IMPORTANT: Please be certain to observe the following once you have
printed your letter:
- Be sure to sign it.  Letters without a handwritten signature are not
- Signed letters can be sent by fax or postal mail to -
John Chwat
Chwat & Co.,
Suite 103, 625 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax number: (703) 684-7594
- The letter can also be signed and scanned into .pdf format and then
E-Mailed as a file attachment to:  Chwat and
Co. is the ARRL's legislative relations firm in Washington, D.C.
- Do not send this letter or any letter about HR 607 to your U.S.
Senators at this time. The bill has only been filed in the U.S. House
of Representatives.  .
-WHY should the letter be mailed to John Chwat and NOT your
Representative?  There are two reasons.  First, all postal mail
addressed to members of the U.S. Congress is delayed 6 to 8 weeks to
search for the inclusion of hazardous materials.  Remember the Anthrax
incident?  Second, Mr. Chwat will increase the value of your individual
letter by combining it with others.  He will then hand carry the stack
of letters directly to your Representative's office. This manner of
delivery makes a particular impact on members of Congress.

Share the web site information with your amateur radio friends.  It is
not necessary to be an ARRL member to use the site.  The more letters
sent to Representatives the better.

This is your opportunity to make a stand against this legislation.
Help save the 70cm band by completing and mailing the opposition letter
as requested.

Thank you for your help and support in this important effort. Please
let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.
ARRL West Gulf Division
Director: David A Woolweaver, K5RAV

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