The ARRL has enlisted the support of a key congressional ally in its effort to step up enforcement efforts against those who interfere with radio communications services.
According to a recent posting on the ARRL website, U.S. Congressman Peter King (R-NY) has sent a written request to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair Tom Wheeler, calling on the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau for “timely and visible enforcement” to stop unlawful interference to licensed radio services and to serve as a deterrent to others.
In his letter, King calls for swift action against an alleged “ringleader” behind multiple cases of malicious interference to VHF and UHF communications services in metropolitan New York City and on Long Island, NY. According to King, this individual “whose identity and location of Astoria Queens are well known to your Enforcement Bureau…has been reportedly intentionally transmitting on a series of amateur radio repeaters, operational frequencies of Rikers Island Prison and NBC radio network’s remote pickup repeater facilities that are used for relay of over-the-air program material.”
“This malicious interference has been allowed to continue for too long,” concluded King. “Timely and visible enforcement creates a deterrent that is very valuable and lessens the use of Commission resources.”
King’s letter to Wheeler followed a January 2016 meeting between King and ARRL representatives in Washington, D.C. King is one of the original co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives of the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 (H.R. 1301, S 1685), a bill that would direct the FCC to modify its rules related to the reasonable accommodation of amateur radio operations. The bill is currently being reviewed by congressional subcommittees in both the House and the U.S. Senate.