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U.S. Senators Roger Wicker & Richard Blumenthal Introduce The Amateur Radio Emergency Preparedness Act



U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, introduced legislation to give amateur radio operators the right to install their antennas and serve their community. Homeowner association rules prevent amateur radio operators from installing outdoor antennas on residential properties even though this communication method has proven to be essential in emergencies and natural disasters, such as hurricanes in states like Mississippi and Connecticut.


“Because communication during natural disasters is often hindered, we should be making every attempt to give folks more options. Reliable access can make the difference between life and death in an emergency. Our legislation removes roadblocks for amateur radio operators looking to help their friends, families, and neighbors,” Senator Wicker said.


“Our measure will help clarify the rules so ham radio enthusiasts can successfully continue their communications. In the face of emergency or crisis, they help provide vital, life-saving information that allow listeners to properly and safely respond, but prohibitive home association rules and confusing approval processes for installing antennas have been an unnecessary impediment,” Senator Blumenthal said. “The Amateur Radio Emergency Preparedness Act resolves these bottlenecks and ensures that radio operators can function successfully.”


Background:


The Amateur Radio Emergency Preparedness Act of 2024 would require homeowner associations to accommodate the needs of amateur radio operators by limiting the scenarios in which they can ban, prevent, or require the approval of the installation or use of amateur radio antennas. Homeowner associations have often prevented installation and use through private lands restrictions, potentially hindering access to emergency communications.


Among other provisions, this legislation would:


  • Prohibit homeowner association rules that would prevent or ban amateur radio antennas.

  • Clarify the approval process for installing amateur radio antennas.

  • Give amateur radio operators a private right of action.


The Amateur Radio Emergency Preparedness Act of 2024 has been endorsed by the Amateur Radio Relay League.


The full text of the legislation can be found here.


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