FCC Adopts Changes to 97.113


The FCC has adopted rule changes to Part 97.113, allowing employees to communicate on behalf of an employer during emergency preparedness drills.

I’ve posted several times about this topic, see EmComm Trouble, Time to Change the Rules,  FCC Moving Ahead on the topic.

The new version of the rules are listed here:

§ 97.113 Prohibited transmissions.  
 
(a) * * *
(3) Communications in which the station licensee or control operator has a pecuniary interest, including communications on behalf of an employer, with the following exceptions:
 
(i) A station licensee or control station operator may participate on behalf of an employer in an emergency preparedness or disaster readiness test or drill, limited to the duration and scope of such test or drill, and operational testing immediately prior to such test or drill. Tests or drills that are not government-sponsored are limited to a total time of one hour per week; except that no more than twice in any calendar year, they may be conducted for a period not to exceed 72 hours.
 
(ii) An amateur operator may notify other amateur operators of the availability for sale or trade of apparatus normally used in an amateur station, provided that such activity is not conducted on a regular basis.
 
(iii) A control operator may accept compensation as an incident of a teaching position during periods of time when an amateur station is used by that teacher as a part of classroom instruction at an educational institution.
 
(iv) The control operator of a club station may accept compensation for the periods of time when the station is transmitting telegraphy practice or information bulletins, provided that the station transmits such telegraphy practice and bulletins for at least 40 hours per week; schedules operations on at least six amateur service MF and HF bands using reasonable measures to maximize coverage; where the schedule of normal operating times and frequencies is published at least 30 days in advance of the actual transmissions; and where the control operator does not accept any direct or indirect compensation for any other service as a control operator.

 

The FCC does allow for drills that are not government sponsored, but did include some time limits on these exercises. At first glance, these rules look reasonable to me. What do you think?

        73, Bob K0NR

  1. #1 by Bryan on 15 July 2010 - 12:06 pm

    I think this is a good thing. Those time restrictions are totally reasonable. I’m unaware of any organizations that drill anywhere near once a week so the one hour limitation isn’t a problem. 72 hours twice a year is plenty for the vast majority of organizations. In the event that they need to drill longer than 1 hour more than twice a year I believe that limitation could be satisfied by using more than one control operator, either another employee or a volunteer from outside.

  2. #2 by Russ Slye on 19 July 2010 - 2:13 pm

    What is a “control station operator”? The wording in (i) is not parallel with the preceeding phrase in (3) “control operator”, which we all know what that means.

  3. #3 by K0NR on 19 July 2010 - 10:03 pm

    Russ,
    Yep, looks like the FCC incorrectly used “control station operator” instead of “control operator”.

    Bob K0NR

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