Fellow Hams --
This weekend I sent an email providing details about a piece of legislation that's been proposed in the United States House of Representatives, posing a direct threat to our popular 70-centimeter band.
Cut to the chase, H.R. 607 (the "Broadband for First Responders Act of
2011") in its present form requires, among other spectrum, the auctioning of 65% of our 70-centimeter band to business users within 10 years of passage. This is to generate revenue that is estimated to be lost as a consequence of setting up and maintaining spectrum in the 700 MHz range for public safety use.
This email is to inform you that a sample letter opposing this legislation in its present form (specifically because it requires a significant amount of our 70-centimeter band to be auctioned) is now available for all ARRL members and general hams to use in making their voices heard. I encourage everyone who reads this email to act quickly since this legislation is reportedly gathering steam in Congress.
Please promptly visit http://www.arrl.org/sample-letters where you will find background information on H.R. 607, the sample letter ready for you to use, and instructions on how to submit your letter.
A word of emphasis on submitting your letter: Please do NOT mail it directly to your Representative. Due to security measures in place on Capitol Hill, letters to members of Congress are not delivered until they are screened; a process which has been taking literally 6-8 weeks.
Don't let your letter potentially become ineffective due to this delay.
Instead, everyone is asked to mail (ideally) or fax/email their completed and signed letter to ARRL's Washington representative, John Chwat, at Chwat & Co. Doing so will not only bypass the slow-as-molasses screening process, but it also provides Chwat the opportunity to hand-deliver your letter to your Representative and personally engage him/her about H.R. 607's threat to our 70-centimeter band. Chwat's contact information is found at http://www.arrl.org/contacting-chwat-and-co
I encourage all members of ARRL's Rocky Mountain Division -- and all Hams who you might interact with on the air and within clubs -- to prepare your letters and mail/fax/email them to Chwat & Co not later than the conclusion of this weekend. Your timely response is important to keep H.R. 607, as presently written, from proceeding further in the US House.
Thank you for your prompt action, and see you on the airwaves!