State Representative Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster) today has announced the passage of House Bill 158 from the Ohio House of Representatives.

H.B. 158 codifies a federal regulation for amateur radio communication antenna structures that requires that no legislative authority may limit the height of amateur radio antenna structures below reasonable heights for effective communication.

Currently, there are approximately 31,000 licensed amateur radio operators in Ohio. Amateur radio communications are highly useful during and after natural disasters when most other communication avenues will have shut down or be overloaded during these times. This legislation will preserve the operator’s ability to provide a means of communication during emergency situations by prohibiting restrictions on the height of the antennas up to a reasonable height necessary for communications. Restricting amateur radio antenna height and placement could impede this vital communication resource in a time of need.

“Amateur radio use is a vital communication resource during emergency situations, and many licensed radio amateur operators actively volunteer with local public safety organizations,” said Stebelton. “The legislation does not completely prevent local authorities from restricting the height, nor does it trump homeowners’ association or condominium agreements; it simply requires there to be site-specific factors to restrict the antenna height.”

H.B. 158 passed by a vote of 92-3 and will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.


Post a Comment