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114th Congress    }                                    {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                    {       114-732

======================================================================



 
                    AMATEUR RADIO PARITY ACT OF 2016

                                _______
                                

 September 9, 2016.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Upton, from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1301]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Commerce, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1301) to direct the Federal Communications 
Commission to extend to private land use restrictions its rule 
relating to reasonable accommodation of amateur service 
communications, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended 
do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............     5
New Budget Authority, Entitlement Authority, and Tax Expenditures     5
Earmark, Limited Tax Benefits, and Limited Tariff Benefits.......     5
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     5
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     5
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     7
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     7
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     7
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     7
Applicability to Legislative Branch..............................     7
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     8

    The amendments are as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2016''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds the following:
          (1) More than 730,000 radio amateurs in the United States are 
        licensed by the Federal Communications Commission in the 
        amateur radio services.
          (2) Amateur radio, at no cost to taxpayers, provides a 
        fertile ground for technical self-training in modern 
        telecommunications, electronics technology, and emergency 
        communications techniques and protocols.
          (3) There is a strong Federal interest in the effective 
        performance of amateur stations established at the residences 
        of licensees. Such stations have been shown to be frequently 
        and increasingly precluded by unreasonable private land use 
        restrictions, including restrictive covenants.
          (4) Federal Communications Commission regulations have for 
        three decades prohibited the application to stations in the 
        amateur service of State and local regulations that preclude or 
        fail to reasonably accommodate amateur service communications, 
        or that do not constitute the minimum practicable regulation to 
        accomplish a legitimate State or local purpose. Commission 
        policy has been and is to require States and localities to 
        permit erection of a station antenna structure at heights and 
        dimensions sufficient to accommodate amateur service 
        communications.
          (5) The Commission has sought guidance and direction from 
        Congress with respect to the application of the Commission's 
        limited preemption policy regarding amateur service 
        communications to private land use restrictions, including 
        restrictive covenants.
          (6) There are aesthetic and common property considerations 
        that are uniquely applicable to private land use regulations 
        and the community associations obligated to enforce covenants, 
        conditions, and restrictions in deed-restricted communities. 
        These considerations are dissimilar to those applicable to 
        State law and local ordinances regulating the same residential 
        amateur radio facilities.
          (7) In recognition of these considerations, a separate 
        Federal policy than exists at section 97.15(b) of title 47, 
        Code of Federal Regulations, is warranted concerning amateur 
        service communications in deed-restricted communities.
          (8) Community associations should fairly administer private 
        land use regulations in the interest of their communities, 
        while nevertheless permitting the installation and maintenance 
        of effective outdoor amateur radio antennas. There exist 
        antenna designs and installations that can be consistent with 
        the aesthetics and physical characteristics of land and 
        structures in community associations while accommodating 
        communications in the amateur radio services.

SEC. 3. APPLICATION OF PRIVATE LAND USE RESTRICTIONS TO AMATEUR 
                    STATIONS.

  (a) Amendment of FCC Rules.--Not later than 120 days after the date 
of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Communications Commission 
shall amend section 97.15 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, by 
adding a new paragraph that prohibits the application to amateur 
stations of any private land use restriction, including a restrictive 
covenant, that--
          (1) on its face or as applied, precludes communications in an 
        amateur radio service;
          (2) fails to permit a licensee in an amateur radio service to 
        install and maintain an effective outdoor antenna on property 
        under the exclusive use or control of the licensee; or
          (3) does not constitute the minimum practicable restriction 
        on such communications to accomplish the lawful purposes of a 
        community association seeking to enforce such restriction.
  (b) Additional Requirements.--In amending its rules as required by 
subsection (a), the Commission shall--
          (1) require any licensee in an amateur radio service to 
        notify and obtain prior approval from a community association 
        concerning installation of an outdoor antenna;
          (2) permit a community association to prohibit installation 
        of any antenna or antenna support structure by a licensee in an 
        amateur radio service on common property not under the 
        exclusive use or control of the licensee; and
          (3) subject to the standards specified in paragraphs (1) and 
        (2) of subsection (a), permit a community association to 
        establish reasonable written rules concerning height, location, 
        size, and aesthetic impact of, and installation requirements 
        for, outdoor antennas and support structures for the purpose of 
        conducting communications in the amateur radio services.

SEC. 4. AFFIRMATION OF LIMITED PREEMPTION OF STATE AND LOCAL LAND USE 
                    REGULATION.

  The Federal Communications Commission may not change section 97.15(b) 
of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, which shall remain applicable 
to State and local land use regulation of amateur service 
communications.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Community association.--The term ``community 
        association'' means any non-profit mandatory membership 
        organization composed of owners of real estate described in a 
        declaration of covenants or created pursuant to a covenant or 
        other applicable law with respect to which a person, by virtue 
        of the person's ownership of or interest in a unit or parcel, 
        is obligated to pay for a share of real estate taxes, insurance 
        premiums, maintenance, improvement, services, or other expenses 
        related to common elements, other units, or any other real 
        estate other than the unit or parcel described in the 
        declaration.
          (2) Terms defined in regulations.--The terms ``amateur radio 
        services'', ``amateur service'', and ``amateur station'' have 
        the meanings given such terms in section 97.3 of title 47, Code 
        of Federal Regulations.

    Amend the title so as to read:
    A bill to direct the Federal Communications Commission to 
amend its rules so as to prohibit the application to amateur 
stations of certain private land use restrictions, and for 
other purposes.

                          PURPOSE AND SUMMARY

    H.R. 1301 minimizes the restrictions placed on amateur 
radio operators residing in communities governed by community 
associations. Covenants imposed by community associations may 
include strict restrictions on antennae and support structures 
on residences, preventing amateur radio licensees residing in 
private communities from operating at all. Current rules 
prohibit state and local regulations from precluding amateur 
service communications; however, these rules do not apply to 
community associations and private land use regulations. The 
legislation would help to allow amateur radio licensees to 
operate and clarify the extent to which community associations 
may impose rules.
    H.R. 1301 directs the Federal Communications Commission 
(FCC) to adopt rules to protect the rights of amateur radio 
operators to use amateur radio equipment with minimal 
restriction. In general, communications equipment is recognized 
under current law as having a societal benefit in providing 
access to information. Land use restrictions imposed by 
governments or homeowners' associations on other pieces of 
communications equipment are currently prohibited by FCC 
regulation. The legislation directs the FCC to adopt 
regulations for the use of amateur radio equipment, ensuring 
that restrictions are minimally restrictive and tailored to 
achieve a legitimate end. In addition, the legislation requires 
any amateur operator to obtain prior approval for equipment 
installation from the community association and allows 
community associations to prohibit equipment installation on 
commonly owned property within the community.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    There are currently more than 730,000 amateur radio 
operators licensed in the United States. To be eligible to 
operate an amateur radio station, individuals must obtain a 
license from the FCC and comply with FCC rules. The FCC has six 
classes of licensed operators, each of which is determined by 
the licensee's level of skill and knowledge displayed during 
the licensing exam. In addition to obtaining a license, the 
licensee must own and install the necessary equipment to be 
able to operate a radio. This includes a radio transceiver, 
antenna system, and transmission lines. There are 27 spectrum 
bands allocated for shared use among amateur radio operators.
    Besides serving as an educational or social hobby, amateur 
radio stations have also been utilized to provide critical 
assistance during times of emergencies. If a natural disaster 
knocks out traditional communications or internet access, 
amateur radio operators in several instances have provided 
assistance by relaying critical information to the local 
community and public safety agencies. There are currently 
40,000 licensed amateur radio operators that serve as members 
of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service.
    Amateur radio licensees residing in homeowner community 
associations face challenges installing the necessary outdoor 
radio equipment attached to their homes. Community association-
imposed covenants require residents to follow specific 
guidelines for what can and cannot be done to the resident's 
home. Covenants typically place restrictions on physical 
characteristics of the home, including restrictions on physical 
antenna equipment used to utilize amateur radio communications.
    Current law recognizes the societal benefits provided by 
amateur radio stations. Physical structures of stations are 
required to be reasonably accommodated by state and local 
government. However, this does not apply to community 
associations or privately owned land. Land use restrictions 
imposed by governments or homeowners' associations on other 
pieces of communications equipment, such as antenna used to 
receive satellite services or video programming, are currently 
prohibited by FCC regulations. These rules do not extend to 
antennae used for operating amateur radio.
    H.R. 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2016, would 
remedy ongoing differences between community association 
covenant restrictions and the installation of outdoor amateur 
radio equipment. The legislation ensures community association 
rules for amateur radio equipment are minimal and provides 
licensees the ability to install reasonably sized equipment and 
operate stations.

                                HEARINGS

    The Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a 
hearing on H.R. 1301 on January 12, 2016. The Subcommittee 
received testimony from:
       Elizabeth Bowles, President and Chair of the 
Board, Aristotle, Inc., on behalf of Wireless Internet Service 
Providers Association;
       Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Public 
Knowledge; and
       Robert McDowell, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP, Senior 
Fellow, Hudson Institute, former Commissioner of the Federal 
Communications Commission.

                        COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION

    On February 10, 2016, the Subcommittee on Communications 
and Technology met in open markup session and forwarded H.R. 
1301 to the full Committee, without amendment, by a voice vote. 
On July 13, 2016, the full Committee on Energy and Commerce met 
in open markup session and ordered H.R. 1301 reported to the 
House, as amended, by a voice vote.

                            COMMITTEE VOTES

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires the Committee to list the record votes 
on the motion to report legislation and amendments thereto. 
There were no record votes taken in connection with ordering 
H.R. 1301 reported.

                      COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee held a hearing and made 
findings that are reflected in this report.

         STATEMENT OF GENERAL PERFORMANCE GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

    The goal of the legislation is to allow amateur radio 
station operators residing in community associations to install 
equipment that is consistent with minimal restrictions of the 
community associations.

   NEW BUDGET AUTHORITY, ENTITLEMENT AUTHORITY, AND TAX EXPENDITURES

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee finds that H.R. 
1301 would result in no new or increased budget authority, 
entitlement authority, or tax expenditures or revenues.

       EARMARK, LIMITED TAX BENEFITS, AND LIMITED TARIFF BENEFITS

    In compliance with clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI 
of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee 
finds that H.R. 1301 contains no earmarks, limited tax 
benefits, or limited tariff benefits.

                        COMMITTEE COST ESTIMATE

    The Committee adopts as its own the cost estimate prepared 
by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

                  CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the following is the cost estimate 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, August 3, 2016.
Hon. Fred Upton,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1301, the Amateur 
Radio Parity Act of 2016.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Stephen 
Rabent.
            Sincerely,
                                             Mark P. Hadley
                                                  (For Keith Hall).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1301--Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2016

    H.R. 1301 would direct the Federal Communications 
Commission (FCC) to amend regulations related to the height and 
dimensions of certain antenna structures. Under the bill, the 
regulations would be amended to prohibit private land-use 
restrictions from applying to antennas used for amateur radio 
communications if the restrictions prevent or impede those 
communications. The bill also would require any licensee in an 
amateur radio service to obtain prior approval from a community 
association before installing an outdoor antenna. In addition, 
H.R. 1301 would allow community associations to prohibit the 
installation of antenna or support structures on common 
property and would permit community associations to establish 
rules concerning the nature of the installation.
    Based on information from the FCC, CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 1301 would cost less than $500,000 to update 
agency rules. Moreover, the agency is authorized to collect 
fees sufficient to offset its regulatory costs each year; 
therefore, CBO estimates that the net discretionary cost would 
be negligible, assuming appropriation actions consistent with 
that authority.
    Enacting H.R. 1301 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 1301 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2027.
    H.R. 1301 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would not affect the 
budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
    The bill contains a private-sector mandate as defined in 
UMRA because it would limit the application of private land-use 
restrictions that are inconsistent with the requirements in the 
bill. The mandate would apply to private entities such as 
homeowners associations by limiting their ability to apply 
land-use restrictions on amateur radio communications. 
Homeowner association rules, mobile home park agreements, condo 
association bylaws, and deed covenants could be affected by the 
bill's prohibition. The bill also would impose a private-sector 
mandate on amateur radio licensees by requiring them to obtain 
prior approval from their community association before 
installing an outdoor antenna. The cost of the mandates would 
be any costs associated with revising private land-use policies 
if necessary to comply with the bill, and the cost of notifying 
community associations of the intent to install an outdoor 
antenna. Based on an analysis of information about the existing 
practices of community associations, such costs would probably 
be small. Therefore, CBO estimates that the aggregate cost of 
the mandates would fall well below the annual threshold 
established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($154 million 
in 2016, adjusted annually for inflation).
    On February 9, 2016, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
1685, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015, as ordered reported 
by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation on November 18, 2015. The two pieces of 
legislation are similar and CBO's estimates of the budgetary 
effects are the same.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Stephen Rabent 
(for federal costs) and Logan Smith (for private-sector 
mandates). The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                       FEDERAL MANDATES STATEMENT

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act.

                    DUPLICATION OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS

    No provision of H.R. 1301 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  DISCLOSURE OF DIRECTED RULE MAKINGS

    The Committee estimates that enacting H.R. 1301 
specifically directs to be completed 1 rule making within the 
meaning of 5 U.S.C. 551.

                      ADVISORY COMMITTEE STATEMENT

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

                  APPLICABILITY TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

             SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF THE LEGISLATION

Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the short title of Amateur Radio 
Parity Act of 2016.

Section 2. Findings

    This section identifies benefits that over 730,000 licensed 
amateur radio stations in the United States provide to 
societies. The findings acknowledge the unique challenges for 
amateur radio licenses complying with private land use 
regulations and community associations, but recognize that 
there are antenna designs and installations consistent with 
community association land and structure requirements.

Section 3. Application of private land use restrictions to amateur 
        stations

    Section 3 establishes that private land use restrictions 
may not prevent amateur radio communications, but require 
licensees to obtain approval from a community association prior 
to equipment installation. The section allows a community 
association to prohibit amateur radio installation equipment on 
common property not under exclusive ownership of the licensee. 
Community associations may establish reasonable rules 
concerning aesthetics and installation requirements for outdoor 
equipment.

Section 4. Affirmation of limited preemption of state and local land 
        use regulation

    Section 4 Affirms current preemption of state and local 
land use regulations in regards to precluding amateur service 
communications.

Section 5. Definitions

    Section 5 contains definitions for a community association, 
and other terms defined in current regulations.

         CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW MADE BY THE BILL, AS REPORTED

    This legislation does not amend any existing Federal 
statute.

                                  [all]