Update from SEC regarding "Alabama Regional Net"

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Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:47 pm
First Name: Alan
Last Name: Sieg
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State: AL
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Update from SEC regarding "Alabama Regional Net"

Post by wb5rmg » Sun Sep 20, 2009 4:52 pm

The ARRL's Alabama Section Emergency Coordinator sent a notice via email last Friday, the 18th of September... regarding the Alabama Section's weekly regional HF Net - specifically in response to issues related to recent 'strict interpretation' by the FCC of the 'business restriction' of regulation of Amateur Radio Service by Part 97.113(a) of the Federal Code.
(For further background information you can visit http://wb5rmg.wordpress.com ...)

I'll not include the text of the new Alabama Regional Net script here. The intent of this posting is to help distribute the message, and explain the context of the changes.
Here is the message from Mike Watkins (Interim AL-SEC) WX4AL
Subject: Changes to the Alabama Emergency Net
From: "Mike Watkins" <watkijm(at)auburn(dot)edu>
Date: Fri, September 18, 2009 09:35

Greetings Everyone,

Never in the field of human relations has there been one more troubled than the one that exists between a government and its citizens. Amateur Radio Licensees, citizens of United States, are very familiar with this concept in their relationship with the FCC.

Recent events and statements by the current FCC Administration have troubled many amateurs in recent weeks over the concern of how the FCC interprets the most mis-quoted, mis-interpeted, mis-used and misunderstood section of PART 97, specifically, Part 97.113(a), related to the phrase "*, including communications on behalf of an employer*"

This isn't a new regulation hot off of the Government Printing Office presses. It has been part of our regulations for decades. It has been only recently that renewed focus on this section and some rather pointed statement from the FCC has made it an object of concern for Amateur Radio's Public Service aspects.

Rather than ask those hams among us who are also employees of a served agency from going through a lengthy analysis of what is "on behalf of an employer" and what is not, effectively immediately, the Sunday afternoon net will now be simply the "Alabama Regional Net" who's focus is simply to test the ability of hams to communicate with each other, like any other net we hold every day of the week, and is no longer "served agency" focused nor is it for the sole purpose of emergency communications training. This way, since served agencies are NOT in the business of holding radio nets for personal and technical reasons, you would not be communicating on "behalf of an employer" as contemplated under 97.1139(a) even if you are a served agency employee. This net will be no different than any other net that amateur hold every day of the week on various topics.

The purpose of the net is to share ideas and information related to amateur radio communications excellence including but not limited to mobile or field communications, communicating under adverse conditions, traffic handling and other amateur radio-related purposes.

This will remain in effect, with permission from the Section Manager, until we get further guidance from the ARRL and the outcome of any rule-making petition to the FCC to further address the matter.

Thank you for your patience as the ARRL works through this matter with the FCC and other involved agencies.

Mike Watkins
Interim Section EC
###### WB5RMG is Alan Sieg ## http://wb5rmg.wordpress.com ######
ARRL/ARES Assistant Emergency Coordinator, Madison County Alabama