Commission Holds Firm on Home Restrictions Regarding Ham Gear

The FCC will not reconsider a February decision that went against Hams for Action.
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The FCC will not reconsider a February decision that went against Hams for Action.

The group was formed a year ago to ease bans on amateur radio antennas by homeowner associations.

The Wireless Bureau denied HFA's request that the commission adopt rules preempting certain homeowner's association restrictions in deeds and bylaws that prevent amateur radio operators from installing antennas and towers where they live.

In its decision this week, the bureau said the FCC previously addressed the question of whether to preempt these restrictions.

The agency earlier established a policy of limited preemption of state and local regulations governing amateur station facilities. It chose not to extend its limited preemption policy to home association restrictions because such agreements “are voluntarily entered into by the buyer or tenant when the agreement is executed and do not usually concern the commission.”

The commission said it realized when it made the February decision that “amateurs seeking to avoid being subject to antenna and tower restrictions may find their housing choices limited in some places, and considered the role played by amateur operators during emergencies.”

Hams for Action had argued that the restrictions are not really voluntary when 80% or more of all housing developments within a 10-mile radius are subject to rules that prevent ham operators from installing antennas and towers.

The FCC also stated there's been no evidence showing that the communications provided by amateur radio operators during emergencies have been adversely affected by residential restrictions.

The circumstances haven't changed since the agency made its original decision, stated the bureau, and so it denied the petition for reconsideration.

There's been no word from HFA on when its next move might be.

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