Rubio, Booker Introduce Legislation To Expand Unlicensed Spectrum Use

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 U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) today reintroduced S. 424, the Wi-Fi Innovation Act, legislation to expand unlicensed spectrum use by requiring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to test the feasibility of opening the upper 5 GHz band to unlicensed use.

At a time when demand for spectrum is drastically increasing, the legislation aims to provide more of this valuable resource to the public to bolster innovation, spur economic development, and increase connectivity.

“America’s policies must adapt to the colossal technological advancements that are defining the 21st century and transforming the very nature of the American economy,” said Rubio. “The Wi-Fi Innovation Act would bolster innovation, spur economic development, and increase connectivity by providing more spectrum to the public.

“Spectrum is a valuable yet limited resource that must be utilized effectively and efficiently. By requiring the FCC to conduct testing that would provide more spectrum to the public, we are ultimately putting the resource to better use and recognizing the future needs and important work being done in intelligent transportation,” added Rubio. “I am pleased to join Senator Booker in this effort as we work together to foster the innovation and economic growth needed to make this century another American century.”

“Access to wireless spectrum opens the door for innovation and transformative new technologies,” said Senator Booker. “It can help bridge the digital divide that leaves too many low-income communities removed from the evolving technology landscape. There is a clear and growing demand to open up more of this valuable resource and our legislation aims to do exactly that.”

Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), and cosponsored by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA).

The Wi-Fi Innovation Act:

·         Directs the FCC to move swiftly in seeking comments and conducting testing to assess the feasibility of opening the 5850-5925 band to unlicensed use.

·         Recognizes the need to balance the importance of developing Intelligent Transportation and incumbent licensees in the 5 GHz band, while also maximizing the use of the band for shared purposes.

·         Establishes a study to examine Wi-Fi deployment in low-income communities and the barriers preventing deployment of wireless networks in low-income neighborhoods. The FCC will also evaluate incentives and policies that could increase the availability of unlicensed spectrum in low-income neighborhoods to increase adoption in the communities.


What is or is not a television antenna; your HOA knows!


Since the introduction and widespread use of cable television, fewer and fewer new homes are now equipped with outdoor television antennas. More and more, however, you will find satellite dishes springing up on the sides of a large percentage of homes, which sometimes brings into question the covenants that some associations have in regards to the placement of all exterior antennas.

That brings us to this week’s question:

Q: I been trying to sell my house for almost a year and finally I get someone interested but would like to know if they can install a radio antenna in the backyard.

I go to the designs committee and follow all protocol. I take pictures of where the antenna would be placed. I also send a pic of the antenna that the buyer provided. I attach an email from the buyer explaining the purpose of the antenna. I assure them the antenna will not be seen from the front of the house but still get denied. The reason I’m given is that it is not permitted in the covenant.

They give be this as per 2.28 There shall be no installation or maintenance of any antenna for the reception or transmission of television, radio, microwave or other similar signals. 20″ satellite dishes that are not visible from the street are allowed. I go back and tell them if I have to follow the rules then every house needs to do the same.

Almost every house in my community has a direct tv antenna that is visible from the street. After speaking to the person in charge of designe he tells me I’m right and that he will bing it up to the president. I know rules are set in place for a reason but if they don’t follow their own rules I think it’s pretty unfair. I’m still waiting for a decision but wanted to know what your opinion is.


A:  Obviously there is a difference between a radio antenna (Ham radio, right) and a dish to receive television programming.  One of the biggest differences is that the OTARD rules adopted under the Telecommunications Act specifically allows satellite dishes under a certain diameter.  There is somewhat of a push on a national level to extend this protection to ham radio operators, but national organizations, such as CAI are fighting against it.

OTARD means over the air reception devices


Lisa Magill
Shareholder,  Becker & Poliakoff
With the ever-changing world of media, it seems as though this debate is far from over. What is your take on the issue?

House and Senate Republicans Warn FCC Against Regulating Internet Like a 20th Century Monopoly

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Michigan) and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member John Thune (R-South Dakota) today led Republicans on their respective committees in writing to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler regarding the commission’s consideration of regulations that would impose 20th century common carrier rules on the Internet – a 21st century information service. Despite the failure of the commission’s two previous attempts to implement such rules, there remains a strong effort to advance policies that would hamper innovation, job creation, and investment in the widespread growth and expansion of the Internet.

 Hot Butterbeer Comes to Universal Orlando

“Recent proposals have suggested that the FCC can use its authority under Title II of the Communications Act to create legally enforceable rules to regulate Internet access. We believe this is beyond the scope of the FCC’s authority and would defy the plain reading of the statute,” wrote over three-dozen House and Senate Republicans.

They continued, “Reclassification would require the FCC to reverse nearly two decades of legally sound – and Supreme Court affirmed – reasoning that Internet access services are explicitly not Title II services. Justifying this course change is no easy task under current law. Among other harms, reclassification would threaten the jobs and investment made possible by the broadband industry, which the Communications Workers of America and the NAACP state accounted for more than $193 billion in capital investment and more than 270,000 jobs over the last three years.”

The House and Senate Republicans concluded, “Given the significant legal barriers to reclassification and the uncertainty that yet another appeal of the FCC’s rules would bring to the Internet, we strongly urge you to reject any such reclassification proposals. As you know, we are not alone in our concerns. In May, Rep. Gene Green led twenty Democratic members of the House in a letter calling on the commission to reject reclassification. We urge the commission to heed our bipartisan concerns.”

The letter was signed by all Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, including:

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI)

Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member John Thune (R-SD)

House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR)

Senate Communications, Technology, and the Internet Subcommittee Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV)

Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN)

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE)

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH)

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX)

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY)

Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL)

Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA)

Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE)

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI)

Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)

Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-TX)

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA)

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)

Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA)

Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY)

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX)

Rep. David McKinley (R-WV)

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO)

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS)

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA)

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)

Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH)

Rep. Billy Long (R-MO)

Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)

Read the full letter here.

New novel from former Reagan speechwriter challenges both sides in climate change debate

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On September 21, more than 300,000 people converged on New York City for the “People’s Climate March,” demanding immediate action on climate change.

On Sept. 23, President Barack Obama met with 120 world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit to press for bold new initiatives to fight climate change worldwide.

But even if the entire climate-change agenda were adopted tomorrow, former Reagan speechwriter Kevin Hopkins contends in his new novel “Skylight,” the effect on the world’s climate–and the earth’s future–would be negligible.

An Uncomfortable Truth

“The uncomfortable truth in the climate-change debate isn’t that the underlying science may be wrong,” says Hopkins. “The uncomfortable truth is that, even if the science is right-even if the world is hurtling toward an environmental nightmare-then even the boldest proposals in the climate-change quiver will do almost nothing to prevent that catastrophic outcome.”

Hopkins cites research from the American Enterprise Institute demonstrating that, even if the entire industrialized world were to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, the most widely accepted climate model shows that, by that date, average global temperatures would have declined by only 0.1 degrees–far too small to have even the slightest beneficial effect on the environment.

Solving the Climate-Change Problem

In “Skylight,” a novel built around a global atmospheric catastrophe and its aftermath, Hopkins proposes a new approach to warding off environmental disaster that is designed to actually solve the climate-change problem but in a way that preserves, rather than penalizes, people’s economic well-being. It is a conceptual approach–perhaps the only one on the market–that has the chance to win over climate-change adherents and skeptics alike.

“I chose fiction for this message because I believe it’s the only vehicle with a hope of bringing people together to protect the Earth,” Hopkins says. “Environmentalists and economic-growth advocates have been talking past each other in the political world for decades, with very little to show for it. If a global catastrophe is on the horizon-and if we truly want to prevent it-then we must do much, much more than we’ve done to date. And we must do it now.”

About Skylight

The book’s description of “Skylight” reads as follows:

“The Catastrophe had been predicted for decades. But it arrives with a swiftness no one had expected. On an otherwise glorious October evening, the air at high altitudes suddenly becomes unbreathable, depleted of oxygen. In minutes, 12 million people die.

 “No one knows when-or whether-it will happen again.

“Energy executive Martin Fall is with his family in Denver on the night of The Catastrophe. Miraculously left alive, he embarks on the long journey home to Los Angeles as society begins collapsing all around him. Within months, the city-like others throughout the country-is on the verge of breakdown, overrun with 80 million migrants seeking the safety of lower altitudes. Fall is lost among them, struggling for a reason to go on.

“But soon he has no choice. Trapped in a web of lies from those he trusted, allied with others he barely knows, he must risk his life for a cause he scarcely comprehends-but one that may be the world’s only salvation.”

Skylight, published by Sweetwater Books, an imprint of Cedar Fort Publishing Company, is available online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble (search for “Skylight Kevin Hopkins”).

Praise for “Skylight”:

“Skylight… is one of the most intelligent discussions yet of the trade-offs that our society faces between energy production and environmental protection… The book’s clarity and insights are a very valuable addition to the public debate on these vital issues.”

-Jack Cox, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Congress

Rubio Comments On NASA’s Plans To Resume Manned Space Launches

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)  issued the following statement regarding NASA’s commercial crew transport selection:

“The announcement from NASA marks an important milestone for our nation’s space program and is an exciting development for Florida and the commercial space industry. These partnerships will ensure that American astronauts are once again launched into space from American soil. As the nation’s spaceport, Florida’s Space Coast will play a crucial role in advancing this initiative and exploring low earth orbit. I, along with all Floridians, look forward to seeing our astronauts launch from Kennedy Space Center once again.”


Vote now for The Florida Community Association Journal Readers’ Choice Awards

Each year, the Florida Community Association Journal awards service providers that demonstrate through their commitment to the community associations they serve an exemplary level of proficiency, reliability, fairness, and integrity.




There are three levels of achievement in the awards, Diamond, Platinum, and Gold. Each of these levels is determined by an open voting system. The level of achievement is directly related to the number of votes cast for the service provider.

 All current FLCAJ contract advertisers and FCAP service provider members are automatically nominated. The nominations will be by business and category.

The award winners will be announced January 15, 2015 at The Show: WPB – Education & Expo at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. 

Award winners will receive recognition in the following ways:
1. All winners will receive a specially designed wall plaque and award logo for their use.
2. All winners will have the right to use the logo and award language in promotional and marketing material.
3. All winners who are exhibitors at The Show will receive their award onstage at the exhibit hall. A photo of their representative receiving the award will be featured in the February special issue.

 All winners who are exhibiting at The Show and advertisers will receive a photo and a company profile in the February issue of FLCAJ magazine.
Nominations are still open for the awards, and voting is also underway for those lucky few who have already been nominated.
If you have a few moments, I invite you to cast your ballot for the West Palm Beach HOA Examiner in the Technology and Communications category.  Keep an eye on this blog for the latest news about the Florida Communities of Excellence Awards, as well as other news in the world of community associations.

Seventh annual Florida Communities of Excellence Awards to kick-off Oct. 15

The Florida Communities of Excellence Awards announced that its seventh annual program will kick-off with the call for submissions on October 15. Communities have until midnight on January 31, 2015 to submit entries in any of the 13 categories that cover all aspects of a community life and the operations of the community. 

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Since being founded in 2009, the Florida Communities of Excellence Awards have grown every year, including 30% growth last year, with 100 communities and 10 sponsors participating for the first time. The Awards were created by Becker & Poliakoff law firm and the Florida Community Association Journal to recognize the achievement of volunteer boards and professional managers at condos, HOAs and Coops across the state. 

There is no fee to enter the Awards and the entire submission process is done online.  The winners will be announced on Friday, May 15, 2015 at the Conference & Awards event at the Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Weston, Florida.   Winners are chosen from smaller communities (up to 400 units) and larger communities by a panel of independent experts, including representative of leading state and local government departments and agencies. 

The Awards also announced the formation of an Advisory Council made up of sponsors, judges, and industry leaders: 

•    Jane Bracken, vice president relation market manager, BB&T Association Services

•    Leo Delgado, president, Converged Services, Inc.

•    James Donnelly, CEO & president, Castle Group

•    Jeff Hardy, founder, TOPS Software

•    James Hart, president, Sentry Management

•    Deirdre Irwin, St. John’s River Water Management District

•    Paul Kaplan, managing director, KW Property Management & Consulting

•    Lisa Magill, Community Association Law Practice, Becker & Poliakoff

•    Janet McMillan, director of sales & marketing, ADT-Devcon

•    Jim McMurry, publishing director, Florida Community Association Journal

•    Tim O’Keefe, president, South Region, FirstService Residential

•    Gina Rossi, director of national sales, Associa


At the event itself, in addition to the popular “Managers of Excellence” luncheon, this year there will be a dedicated awards ceremony focused on the winning communities, followed by a gala cocktail party..

Also new for 2015 is a special “Community Video Showcase” with the best examples of community videos as selected by a panel of professionals.

For information about the Awards, including a complete list of categories, please visit