Amateur Radio Law


Attorney William Driscoll (KA1WEW) is a member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the ARRL Volunteer Counsel Program. He provides the uncommon combination of legal and technical skills to address a broad spectrum of legal issues faced by ham radio operators.

Attorney Driscoll's ham radio law practice is divided into two primary topics. The first is assisting fellow amateur radio operators in obtaining approval for their antenna support structure. The second is handling Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Enforcement Bureau actions. Both of these areas share common concerns, such as electromagnetic interference (EMI), radio-frequency interference (RFI), or consumer device electromagnetic compatibility (EMC).


Antenna Support Structure Zoning

Obtaining permission to erect an amateur radio antenna support structure can be a long process. There is no substitute for proper planning when seeking reasonable accommodation for amateur radio installations.

Federal law (i.e., FCC PRB-1, as amended) preempts local government zoning ordinances as related to amateur radio facilities. But it does not address covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&R's). The United States Congress is currently considering the Amateur Radio Parity Act to deal with CC&R zoning restrictions on amateur radio facilities.

Learn more about Amateur Radio Antenna Zoning

FCC Enforcement Bureau Actions

Individuals and businesses can be investigated and fined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Enforcement Bureau (EB) for violating the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. The Amateur Radio Service is one component of the EB. A sample of amateur radio enforcement actions is available on the FCC EB website.

Never disregard a letter from the FCC because the issue will not go away. The problem addressed can only get worse, more stressful, and more difficult to remedy. Contact Attorney William Driscoll immediately.

Learn more about FCC Regulatory Actions