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(Fwd) FCC License Restructuring

well, looks like there will be a lot of new hf gear sold after april 15th, 2000. 
happy new year

>      http://news.cq-amateur-radio.com/news.htm
>>FLASH! FCC Adopts License Restructuring
>>              Posted: 1999-12-30 11:34:55.617
>>              More than a year after it first proposed
>>              reducing the number of amateur license classes
>>              and asked hams for input on code speed
>>              requirements, the Federal Communications
>>              Commission (FCC) handed down its restructuring
>>              decision on the final business day of 1999. Here
>>              is a summary of changes, which are effective as
>>              of April 15, 2000: * There will be only three
>>              license classes, Technician, General, and
>>              Amateur Extra, with a single written exam
>>              element for each grade of license. * There will
>>              be only one code exam -- at 5 words per minute
>>              (wpm) -- for licenses with HF privileges
>>              (General and Extra). * No new Novice, Tech-Plus,
>>              or Advanced Class licenses will be issued after
>>              April 14. However, hams who now hold these
>>              licenses will retain all of their current
>>              operating privileges, and will be able to modify
>>              &/or renew their licenses indefinitely.
>>              Tech-Plus hams will be renewed as Technicians,
>>              but will retain their HF operating privileges. *
>>              There will be no "refarming" of the ham bands as
>>              proposed by the ARRL. This means that current
>>              Novice and Advanced Class subbands will remain
>>              as they are, so there will be no expansion of
>>              frequency privileges for any ham without passing
>>              an upgrade exam or showing credit for all
>>              necessary exam elements (more on this later).
>>              There will also be no changes in the callsign
>>              groups. * There will be no automatic upgrades,
>>              even for hams who qualify based on past credit.
>>              Even if no additional exams are required, a ham
>>              will have to apply for an upgrade at a VE
>>              (Volunteer Examination) session. * There will be
>>              only three written exam elements, one for each
>>              new class of license. Decisions on structuring
>>              the new exam elements will be made by the
>>              Volunteer Examiner Coordinators' Question Pool
>>              Committee (QPC), which will be given even
>>              greater authority in designing and administering
>>              amateur exams. * The much-abused disability
>>              waiver for 13- and 20-wpm code tests is
>>              eliminated (since there will no longer be any
>>              13- or 20-wpm code tests) * The changes will
>>              take effect on April 15, 2000. This will give
>>              the QPC time to create new exams, and will give
>>              publishers time to get new license manuals into
>>              print before the new structure is put into
>>              place. In addition, it will give tens of
>>              thousands of hams with partial credit toward one
>>              of the new license classes the opportunity to
>>              pass the remaining element(s) before the new
>>              tests begin, possibly requiring re-examination
>>              on certain topics. The full text of the Report
>>              and Order will be posted as soon as we get it.

Bruce Paige, KK5DO                      Internet: kk5do@amsat.org
Houston, Texas                                or: kk5do@houston.rr.com
AMSAT Area Coordinator                      
ARRL Awards Manager (WAS, 5BWAS, VUCC), VE                     
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