Ham Radio Operators: California Wants Them Gone
In one of the latest idiocies in California, unelected officials with Cal Fire have demanded that Ham Radio Operators remove their repeaters from public land or be charged exorbitant fees. The excuse? They are stating that the items used as repeaters are “no longer of benefit” and want them gone. They state that better technology has made the repeaters obsolete.
A Ham Radio repeater boosts a low level signal to a higher range that can reach longer distances without being degraded.
Ham Radio operators must have an FCC license. In California alone there are 106,798 total individual licenses. Their network provides more than emergency services, it provides communication with people worldwide. The state wants to destroy communication rather than build it.
In other words, Commiefornia doesn’t want citizens to be able to communicate during emergencies with anyone but the state itself. IF they can, which is a question.
Here is a portion of the email (at the end of document) sent to Ham Radio Operators across California:
“I do understand and appreciate all of the service you have provided in the past. However, with constantly changing technological advances, there is no longer the same benefit to State as previously provided. Therefore, the Department no longer financially supports HAM operators
radios or tenancy. If you desire to enter into a formal agreement to operate and maintain said equipment, you must complete and submit attached collocation application along with fee as outlined on page one of application.
There is cost associated with getting an agreement in place. In addition to the technical analysis fee ($2500/application), there is DGS Lease admin cost associated (typically between
$3000-$5000) with preparation of lease. Also, there will be an annual rent charge based upon equipment type/space.
Please let me know how you wish to proceed…” Lorina Pisi of Cal Fire
PG&E in California just shut down the power to over 800,000 customers because the 20-40 mile and hour winds might cause fires. Yet the people expect them to handle more major disasters? Total dependence on “modern technology” is not always the best plan.
There are many times when cell phones can’t be used. Remote areas have always depended on Ham Radio Operators to communicate in emergencies – because frankly, cell towers can be just as “obsolete” in an emergency as anything else.
Active Fire Net is an alert system that was set up by the Ham radio community to assist in monitoring fires, and relaying important information to 911 and Cal Fire. Numerous emergency plans for local communities throughout remote regions in California have the Ham Radio systems as part of those plans.
Example from the Ham Radio response to Cal Fire’s demand for removal:
“In Shingletown, all electrical power was OUT. There was no land line service, no cell phones, no
internet, no reverse 911, no code red, no ability to dial 911. As one Shingletown Resident put it
– If I had a heart attack I had no ability to get help! That resident is now part of his
neighborhood emergency SER PLAN radio team. Residents were snow bound. Snow depths
ranged from several feet to 4 feet. THE ONLY COMMUNICATIONS WE HAD WAS THE SER HAM PLAN WHICH UTILIZED ONE OF THE REPEATERS YOU ARE SEEKING TO HAVE REMOVED.”
Amateur radio operators have the ability to create repeaters quickly. They pay for their own repeaters and equipment: the state has no cost.
The real story here is Ham Radio is a threat to the government. We make them look stupid! They spend billions on infrastructure that breaks down, while we can literally take a hundred bucks in equipment, some random wires, and in minutes set up a radio system that can communicate with anyone in the world. Hell, I’ve used my kid’s slinky, some Television Coax Cable, and a solar battery system to build a mobile rig that I’ve used to talk to people around the world…
…They don’t want the public to realize that we can take care of ourselves, and do a much better and cheaper job doing so!
California does not want their citizens to be independent of the state.
Featured photo of Ham Radio via Off Grid Survival