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Re: Amateur License restructuring announcement.

GPersons wrote:

> Do not want to start a fracas but why do say this sucks? I think it will be
> good for the hobby and lets face it, code is all but dead. I am sorry that
> they have reduced the code requirement. It was always a right of passage to
> me and I was and am working on that right. However, with modern technology
> being what it is, do we really need code?

The short answer is of course, no ....

But like Tevele in Fiddler on the Roof, there is something to be said about

Let's be honest about it too, the code requirement does and should act as a
barrier to entry. No one wants to see HF become a glorified CB domain.

K0UWT (since 1959 with same call)

> Gary
> At 04:16 PM 12/30/99 -0700, you wrote:
> >
> >The FCC has made its decision, and it SUCKS!!!
> >
> >
> >NEWINGTON, CT, Dec 30, 1999--Amateur Radio will get a new look in the new
> >millennium. The FCC today issued its long-awaited Report and Order in the
> >1998 Biennial Regulatory Review of Part 97--more commonly known as "license
> >restructuring." The bottom line is that starting April 15, 2000, there will
> >be three license classes--Technician, General, and Amateur Extra--and a
> >single Morse code requirement--5 WPM.
> >
> >"We believe that an individual's ability to demonstrate increased Morse
> >code proficiency is not necessarily indicative of that individual's ability
> >to contribute to the advancement of the radio art," the FCC said.
> >
> >Besides drastically streamlining the Amateur Radio licensing process, the
> >FCC said its actions would "eliminate unnecessary requirements that may
> >discourage or limit individuals from becoming trained operators,
> >technicians, and electronic experts."
> >
> >Although no new Novice and Advanced licenses will be issued after the
> >effective date of the Report and Order, the FCC does not plan to
> >automatically upgrade any existing license privileges. The
> >ARRL had proposed a one-time across-the-board upgrading of current Novice
> >and Tech Plus licensees to General class, but the FCC declined to adopt the
> >idea. This means that current licensees will retain their current operating
> >privileges, including access to various modes and subbands, and will be
> >able to renew their licenses indefinitely.
> >
> >Starting April 15, 2000, individuals who qualified for the Technician class
> >license prior to March 21, 1987, will be able to upgrade to General class
> >by providing documentary proof to a Volunteer Examiner Coordinator, paying
> >an application fee, and completing FCC Form 605.
> >
> >The FCC's decision not to automatically upgrade Novice and Tech Plus
> >licensees means the current Novice/Tech Plus HF subbands will remain and
> >not be "refarmed" to higher class licensees as the ARRL had proposed. The
> >FCC said it did not refarm these subbands because there was "no consensus"
> >within the amateur community as to what to do with them.
> >
> >As it had proposed earlier, the FCC decided to lump Technician and Tech
> >Plus licensees into a single licensee database, all designated as
> >"Technician" licensees. Those who can document having passed the 5 WPM
> >Morse code examination will continue to have the current Tech Plus HF
> >privileges. "If documentation is needed to verify whether a licensee has
> >passed a telegraphy examination, we may request the documentation from that
> >licensee or the VECs," the FCC said.
> >
> >In addition to reducing the number of license classes from six to three and
> >eliminating the 20 and 13 WPM code tests, the FCC also will reduce the
> >number of written examination elements from five to three, authorize
> >Advanced Class hams to prepare and administer General class examinations,
> >and eliminate Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES) station
> >licenses. RACES will remain, however. "After review of the record, we
> >conclude that we should eliminate RACES station licenses because RACES
> >station licenses are unnecessary for amateur stations and amateur service
> >licenses to provide emergency communications," the FCC said.
> >
> >Under the new licensing scheme, there will be four examination elements.
> >Element 1 will be the 5 WPM Morse code exam. Element 2 will be a
> >35-question written test to obtain a Technician license; Element 3 will be
> >a 35-question written test to obtain a General license, and Element 4 will
> >be a 50-question written test for the Amateur Extra license. The FCC has
> >left it in the hands of the National Conference of VECs Question Pool
> >Committee to determine the specific mix and makeup of written examination
> >questions. Current Amateur Radio study materials remain valid at least
> >until the new rules become effective in April.
> >
> >The FCC's new licensing plan means someone will be able to become a ham by
> >passing a single 35-question written examination. The plan also simplifies
> >and shortens the upgrade path from the ground floor through Amateur
> >Extra--especially since amateurs will only have to pass one Morse code test.
> >
> >Elimination of the 13 and 20 WPM Morse requirements also means an end to
> >physician certification waivers for applicants claiming an inability to
> >pass the Morse code examination due to physical handicap.
> >
> >The effective date provides a window of upgrade opportunity for current
> >Advanced licensees. Between now and April 15, current Advanced holders may
> >take the existing Element 4B, a 40-question test, giving them credit for
> >having passed the current Extra written examination. Likewise, holders of a
> >Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) for Elements 3B
> >or 4B dated on or after April 17, 1999, will be able to qualify for General
> >or Amateur Extra respectively when the new rules go into effect on April
> >15, 2000.
> >
> >The FCC disagreed with the League's suggestion that it undertake a
> >restructuring of operating privileges along with licensing restructuring.
> >"We believe that in light of ongoing discussions concerning implementation
> >of new and more modern communications technologies within the amateur
> >service community, we should accord the amateur service community an
> >opportunity to complete such discussions and possibly reach a consensus
> >regarding implementation of new technologies before we undertake a
> >comprehensive restructuring of the amateur service operating privileges and
> >frequencies," the FCC said in its Report and Order.
> >
> >In its amendments to Part 97, the FCC's Report and Order refers to a "Club
> >Station Call Sign Administrator," something that does not exist under the
> >current rules and which was not explained in the R&O itself. An FCC
> >spokesperson said the Commission plans to issue a Public Notice soon to
> >explain the program and to solicit qualified entities to serve as call sign
> >administrators for club station applications.
> >
> >----
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> >
> >
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