A bill that passed both the House and the Senate today includes a provision for a study of the uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio Service communications in emergencies and disaster relief.
If passed into law, Section 6414 (see below for text) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 mandates the completion of the study, with a report of the findings to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. This study would “use the expertise of stakeholder entities and organizations” to recommend how to best use radio amateurs in emergency communications and disaster relief efforts, and how to best utilize the Amateur Radio Service in coordination with the federal government in these efforts. In addition, the study would also discuss the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use restrictions on residential antenna installations and recommend ways to remove such impediments.
The bill passed the House with a 293-132 victory. In the Senate, it passed by a 60-36 vote.
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