March 05, 2003

CRAPO HELPS HAM RADIO STAY ON AIR

Legislation would ensure that amateur radio operators maintain valuable spectrum

Washington, DC â??Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has introduced legislation that would ensure that amateur radio operators throughout the United States have the radio spectrum they need to remain effective. Organized radio amateurs, or â??hams,â?? through formal agreements with FEMA, the National Weather Service, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other government and private relief services, provide emergency communication when regular channels of communication are disrupted. Crapoâ??s legislation would ensure that amateur radio operators maintain sufficient portions of the radio spectrum to maintain their viability through requiring replacement of any ham radio spectrum that is reallocated by the FCC or the NTIA. â??Idahoâ??s 4,200 amateur radio operators are an invaluable resource to all Idahoans,â?? Crapo said. These trained volunteers have helped rescue stranded back country hikers, organized cleanup efforts after the Payette River flooded, and have helped the Forest Service communicate during major forest fires. Their contributions to public safety are significant, but frequently overlooked. Nationally, amateur radio operators carried out essential communications and coordination on September 11, 2001 when several large antennas went down with the World Trade Centers in New York. â??These volunteers need adequate radio spectrum to work, and this bill would make sure they have it. With this legislation in place, we can guarantee that the benefits amateur radio operators provide can continue into the future. Currently there are more than 650,000 amateur radio operators in the United States. Amateur radio operators have been at the heart of many technological innovations in communications technology. # # #