Malicious Interference – NYC / Long Island

From:

ARRL Hudson Division
Director: Mike Lisenco, N2YBB
n2ybb@arrl.org

 

Much has been going on the past couple of weeks.  I will share the
recent Board meeting with you in the next email.  However, I want to
get this out to the Division right away.

As you know, the Hudson Division has been plagued with malicious
interference on our VHF and UHF repeaters for years.  We have had no
relief from the FCC, despite repeated pleas for remedy made by ARRL to
the FCC.  All requests for help have consistently fallen on deaf ears.

In my most recent visit to Washington on behalf of our H.R. 1301
effort, I, along with Chris Imlay W3KD, ARRL General Counsel, had the
opportunity to meet with Congressman Peter T. King (R-NY-3) where we
discussed this issue.  Mr. King, a long time supporter of Amateur Radio
and also very concerned about the malicious interference of licensed
services, offered to send a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on our
behalf.

What follows is the text of the letter.  A copy of the actual letter
will be available on the Hudson Division website shortly
(www.hudson.arrl.org)

Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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January 15. 2016

Honorable Tom Wheeler
Chairman
Federal Communications Commission
445-12th Street S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554

Dear Chairman Wheeler:

I am very concerned about a high-profile case of malicious interference
to VHF and UHF communications that has affected various radio services,
including public safety radio, and Federal Communication Commission’s
licensees throughout metropolitan New York City and Long Island. While
there are apparently multiple perpetrators involved in this activity, I
am told by the Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national
association for amateur radio, there is one ringleader, whose identity
and location of Astoria Queens well known to your Enforcement Bureau.

This individual has been reportedly intentionally transmits on a series
of amateur radio repeaters, operational frequencies of Rikers Island
Prison and NBC radio network’s remote pickup repeater facilities that
are used for relay of over-the-air program material.  I am told that
this individual conducts his unlawful activities essentially daily with
the specific intent of disrupting licensed communications. The amateur
radio repeaters on Long Island that are rendered useless by this
individual are used for emergency preparedness exercises and they were
used extensively in Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts.

In previous correspondence with the FCC, I have expressed my strong
concern with interference caused by pirate radio operators, especially
when these interruptions have an impact on public safety.  This
individual has been allowed to proceed without any apparent Commission
enforcement for well over two years, despite repeated complaints from
ARRL, NBC engineering staff and at least two Long Island amateur radio
clubs.

I realize that the Commission’s spectrum enforcement resources are
limited and that investigations of pirate radio are resource intensive.
However this malicious interference has been allowed to continue for too
long.  Timely and visible enforcement creates a deterrent that is very
valuable and lessens the use of Commission resources.

I appreciate the actions the Commission has taken to search for
solutions that are supplementary to the enforcement of regulations
pertaining to pirate radio.  However deliberate interference with
public safety, broadcast program production and amateur radio public
service communications, such as what is exhibited in this case, must be
swiftly and visibly addressed in order to achieve this deterrence
effect.  I appreciate your consideration and look forward to your
reply.

Sincerely,
Peter T. King
Member of Congress