Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Selling "airtime" on ham radio  (Read 105239 times)
N1CX
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« on: July 12, 2012, 11:43:38 AM »

So I stumbled across something recently that has me concerned for ham radio. I sent a email to the league and they said they've had their lawyers look at this and it's legal, though I suspect it's not and is against part 97 rules and regs...

Can a FOR PROFIT company buy a property where nobody lives, for the specific purpose of profiting off of said venture, and install towers, ham radios etc and sell access to said station by the hour or minute.

I say no. I say it's against the rules. ARRL staff equate this to Caribbean vacation spots geared towards ham radio. I say not even close...you can rent a villa, a house, a tent, whatever-your paying to rent the villa. Any one of these places can have a ham station setup in them. Your not paying to rent the ham station, your paying to rent a roof over your head.

A remote station setup on the internet or pstn is just that, it is access to airtime on a ham radio. For profit.. or as a buddy calls it "ham radio by the pound"

I've heard the equation of 5 guys putting their resources together and setting up a remote station for their own use, that's different-nobody is making a profit specifically off ham radio there, it's personal use and enjoyment of all.  Likewise a dxpedition villa etc is personal use and for enjoyment of anyone who stays there, whether ham or not.  This however is much different because someone is specifically profiting off ham radio access or "airtime" and the station was designed for it to specifically make a profit.

Does this now mean we can charge $5 for every phone patch we make?

Since it's hooked to a wireline I think this looks more like a for-profit common carrier than anything.

Having a heavy commercial radio background maybe I look at things different, but being a ham for ~35 years I am deeply troubled by this. I see this as "commercialization of ham radio"

Am I wrong in thinking this?
Logged
AA4PB
Member

Posts: 12639




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2012, 11:57:42 AM »

I agree. The licensee of the station is responsible for the operation of the station and I expect the same rules that prevent an "operator" from being paid to operate the station (with a few exceptions) would prevent the station licensee from profiting from its operation.
Logged
K6OK
Member

Posts: 62




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2012, 12:06:48 PM »

I'm not a lawyer but I'll make my best guess anyway. I think the "pecuniary interest" rule refers to the operator and the traffic being passed. It does not apply to equipment for sale or rental. It's legal to sell and make a profit on radios and equipment, and by extension it should be legal to rent or lease them on a for-profit basis. You can't charge for traffic being passed and you can't accept a salary for being an operator. But it should be legal to rent or lease out your station for profit to another operator.
Logged
N1CX
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2012, 12:53:21 PM »

But that's just the thing...you ARE paying for traffic/communications to be passed. Your paying for access to the radio..a radio that has been setup specifically for the intent to collect revenue on..

Sure you could right now lease a radio from a ham vendor somewhere it they did such a program through Lease Acceptance, Ally, or any lease company...But in this case your leasing ACCESS to a radio, it's not a physical thing, it's the capability of dialing up a ham station and using it for 48 hours to win a contest, or play ham radio, or whatever from the other side of the world.

I think if you were able to rent or lease specifically your station then it would have been done by now? Anyone got any specific pointers to that they've ever rented or leased a station from a FOR PROFIT company, not an individual?
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 12:56:43 PM by N1CX » Logged
K6OK
Member

Posts: 62




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 01:31:25 PM »

I'm under the impression the "rent-a-shack" resorts in the Caribbean and elsewhere include profit in their fees. I see nothing wrong with that. It is commonly accepted that these arrangements are legal; payment is to rent the house and the equipment. The renter is the control operator and as long as no money is paid to or by the renter to pass traffic, all is OK.

By extension, I should be able to rent that same shack and operate it remotely. Nothing changes. There's noting in the rules that says the control operator has to physically sit there and twist the knobs. I'm still renting the equipment and I'm the control operator. I'm not accepting or paying money for the traffic. This arrangement is also OK, IMHO.

Actually, I think it would be exciting and cool if I could rent remote QTH's on all continents to hear and feel what it's like from different vantage points.  I assume it's internet latency issues that keep this concept from blossoming.
Logged
N1CX
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 02:17:54 PM »

I don't use the stuff so I'm asking. Does anyone currently charge for irlp, echolink etc access?
Logged
N1CX
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 02:19:09 PM »

This would fall into the same instance, connected to the internet, connected to a remote radio, accessing ham radio spectrum.
Logged
N1CX
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 02:38:12 PM »

btw food for thought:  http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=1fd042880fafafd63f70c7382a7efee2&rgn=div5&view=text&node=47:5.0.1.1.6&idno=47#47:5.0.1.1.6.2.157.7

97.113a2, 3

(a) No amateur station shall transmit:

(2) Communications for hire or for material compensation, direct or indirect, paid or promised, except as otherwise provided in these rules;


STATION LICENSEE OWNS THE REMOTE RADIO. Pecuniary interest.. he is profiting off access to this radio. He has incentive to advertise same, to promote the sale of airtime access to his station.

"(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."
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 02:42:39 PM by N1CX » Logged
N3OX
Member

Posts: 8852


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 04:22:38 PM »

There's nothing wrong with renting out a radio shack by the hour for profit.  The key in what you posted is that the station owner should have no pecuniary interest in the content and information contained in the actual communications.  

The important thing about amateur radio communications is that you are not allowed to use the radio service itself to conduct business: you can't use it to dispatch taxis or talk to your fleet of fishing boats.  You can't set up a scheme over ham radio where you accept money to provide regular HF email to boats at sea.  You can't set up a shortwave broadcast station on 20m to sidestep the proper broadcast allocations.  This is because there are other licensed and more tightly regulated radio services that are supposed to be used for these things.

It's fine to have a pecuniary interest in PROVIDING goods and services that enable others to play ham radio.  You are most definitely allowed to profit from the sale and rental of products used in ham radio, and that includes entire stations.  The situation you describe really is exactly the same as the island QTH with the ham station.

And it's not that much different from selling antennas and selling radios for profit.  

You just can't use the ham radio frequencies in lieu of the frequencies you're actually supposed to use for your business.


Logged

73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
KE4ZHN
Member

Posts: 138




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2012, 08:51:27 AM »

Im no lawyer and dont play one on TV but this sounds illegal to me. But, our friends ....and I use the term very loosely... at the league seem to be able to do as they please when they please without the FCC hassling them. The FCC attacked Glenn Baxter..who I will agree is a nuisance and probably a mental case for broadcasting.....yet the league is allowed to broadcast and promote its own web site for $$ and the FCC does nothing. Glenn even used the same legal loophole in part 97 that allows the league to broadcast..yet he got shafted and the league does not??? And why did Glenn get nailed? He had a personal gripe with ..you guessed it..the league. Makes me wonder how many league members got together to shaft Glenn just because he slammed them for being the money grubbers they are. Dont get me wrong, I dont agree with Baxters agenda in the least...but why cant he do what the league does daily under the same set of rules? As nutzo as Glenn is he did have a little organization called IARN that is supposedly a ham radio organization. So in effect he was doing exactly what the league does and yet he got shafted to the tune of over 20 grand in fines while the league qrms people day in and day out with their useless broadcasts of crap. So, of course they will do this and get away with it..but if one of us tried it I bet the FCC would come down on us like a ton of bricks. This selective enfarcement...what little there is of it from the FCC is a joke. I cannot legally "rent" air time to fellow hams at my station so why should the league get away with it? This is just one more bullshit reason not to support the league. This do as I say and not as I do crap is not in the best interest of amateur radio. Its only self promotion for money by the league bean counters.
Logged
KE2TR
Member

Posts: 129




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2012, 02:14:39 PM »

What you all are missing is its the property for rent that just happens to have a kick but station and antenna farm that comes as part of the rent of the property, for those who live in the city and want a chance to compete at a great station I dont see anything wrong with that plus look at the huge investment of someones time and money to be able to do this. What you are renting is not air time but the whole qth just like they do down in the islands with a whole house/shack and antennas but now with the remote operation you dont have to pay the big bucks on air fare to get to the qth. I think for some of us who have built a station from the ground up that was able to do contest wins from will know what I mean, its a huge undertaking of time/money and logistics to do plus the huge up keep, not many may want that resposibility to do all this and fro some the cost of renting a qth all set up for contesting would be a nice thing. I stress again that its not the air time that one is reanting its the property that you are renting for a desired time period. N1CX needs to get off his hi horse here and look at the big picture, if someone buys a qth and puts the huge investment of towers/antennas/radios/computers and remote ability and say some ham who lives in the city want to rent that qth for a set time period for X amount of dollars what the end user is paying for is the rent of the qth not the air time, its in no way a phone patch arangment at all, this iss a rent of the whole qth which there is no law against at this time.
Its funny just as some want this hobby to grow there is always some out there that wanna shake there fists at old school BS, this is a hobby that could be dead in the next ten years if we keep that old school mentality.
Logged
N1CX
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2012, 02:36:26 PM »

There's no "hi horse" as you say to get off.

I said my opinion and  I'll stand by it. I believe it's illegal. I'm entitled to my opinion, if you don't like it then you don't need to read it or stoop down and throw piles of crap or try and demean me ok?

You can spin it how you want and no-one is shaking their fists. You show me where it says in Part 97 that this IS LEGAL AND ALLOWED to accept payment for airtime. You can't.

You are not renting property. If you were then you could travel to this property and use the station FIRSTHAND not remotely. You will not have access to the PROPERTY. You have access to a ham station that was build specifically to turn a profit on by selling access to same AKA AIRTIME.

References to Caribbean contest stations mean NOTHING. They are outside of the jurisdiction of the FCC. And again you are renting a physical property not renting airtime access to a ham radio.

I'm reporting this to the FCC lets see what they have to say. It's my opinion that the arrl is pandering to this because they stand to gain huge dollars in ad revenue for qst.
Logged
AE6RV
Member

Posts: 146




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2012, 08:17:39 PM »

If closed fee-based repeaters are legal (and they are) then this is legal.  What's the big deal?  Part 97's pecuniary interest rule is about the communications, not about the radio.  No, I am not a lawyer.
Logged
KE2TR
Member

Posts: 129




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2012, 08:30:55 PM »

You are on a hi horse sir, and the truth be told you dont even realize it, your not renting air time your renting the property and the station thats on it which comes with the property rental plus your telling all these hams that would love to op at a world class station to go frig themselves, these guys might live in a condo or apartment that doesnt allow any antennas at all, your just the type of old school ham that will make this hobby dead. To top it off its acording to your rules, there is nothing in the rules that says you cannot rent a qth with antennas and a station on it, nothing but you just dont get it, there's no air time rental at all its a property rental but its a shame that folks like you wanna beat down the advances that this hobby has to offer and by the way everyone is entiteled to there opinion but its not ok if it doesnt mirror yours, whi died and made you king! You might wanna check with your Doc cause I think your gonna have a hart attack the way your soo friggin upset about everything, lighten up there bub and take it easy. I've been a ham since 1968 and seen many changes but guys like you with there hand shaking fist in the air will make this hobby dead and maybe you dont wanna have someone rent a better qth than you and spank your ass in the next contest.
Guys like you maybe never built a real competetive station in the first place, I built with the help of some great friends a two tower station in the burbs of LI,NY, 9 beams on two crank up towers, stacks on 10/15&20 with 3el on 40ty, phased vees on 80 on a 1/3rd acre that placed 1st USA M/S CQWW Phone in 96,97 and 99 and that station was small compared to who we competed with. I know what it takes cause I built that from the ground up and I also know what it takes outa your time from everything else in life so guys like you wanna step on some fellas dream to op a great station that he rents for the seekend and is able ti live his life long dream, dude you need to get a life and stop bothering everyone else's.
Logged
N1CX
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2012, 02:18:21 AM »

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA your killing me.

You want to turn this personal? Let's see.
I been a member of YCCC off and on for ~35 years.
I was the captain of the largest winning club team EVER.
I installed my own contest station when I was 13 years old.
I installed more towers by the time I was 22 that you'll ever see in your life.
I was the tech director for a large local repeater club for many years.
I built the entire linking arrangement for 7 repeaters.
I was the Sr technician for 4 years for the company that became Nextel.
I've been to the Virgin Islands as a hand picked team of people to put them back on the air after Hugo in 1989
I wired and built all the infrastructure for the NT1Y contest station in Vt.
I built a contest station in Maine that won a World record...that still stands I believe.

It's not about ME. It's about someone doing something that MANY MORE than me feel shouldn't be allowed. You call these guys profiting off airtime sales an ADVANCE in HAM RADIO? I'd love to see the rental agreement. I'm guessing it's being re-written because of this thread alone.

Somebody make him stop. My sides hurt from laughing so much.

Now I'm on my high horse. And your on ignore.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!