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FCC Chairman Recognizes Ham Radio In Praising Those Assisting Puerto Rico:

from The ARRL Letter on November 9, 2017
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FCC Chairman Recognizes Amateur Radio In Praising Those Assisting Puerto Rico:

Wrapping up a 2-day visit to Puerto Rico on Monday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, recognized Amateur Radio volunteers as he praised those who turned out to help the stricken commonwealth in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

"[T]he worst of tragedies can also bring out the best in people. I saw that firsthand during my 2 days in Puerto Rico," Pai said. "Everyone is pitching in: the people of Puerto Rico helping their neighbors, hardworking Federal Emergency Management Agency staff -- including communications personnel in Emergency Support Function #2 -- the dedicated regulators of the Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board, and the FCC's own Roberto Mussenden, who has spent the past month away from his family on the mainland in order to help the island where he grew up."

"Additionally, Amateur Radio operators, broadcasters, cable operators, fixed wireless companies, wireline carriers, and mobile providers have stepped up to the plate, working overtime to connect the disconnected," Pai continued. "All of this work reflects the ethos I saw on many signs and t-shirts during my time on the island: 'Puerto Rico Se Levanta' [Puerto Rico is Rising]."

Pai said recovering from Hurricane Maria will require an all-hands-on-deck effort, and the FCC "remains committed to doing everything we can to help restore communications networks as quickly as possible."

In October, the FCC granted ARRL's request to waive current Amateur Radio rules to permit data transmissions at a higher symbol rate than currently permitted, in order to facilitate hurricane relief communications between the continental US and Puerto Rico. The temporary waiver will enable the use of PACTOR 3 and PACTOR 4.

"The path to recovery has met several challenges, most notably the lack of power and functional infrastructure," Pai said. "One thing is clear: overcoming these challenges won't be easy." Read more


The ARRL Letter

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