Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N2EY, Apr 19, 2018.
I hope you don't mean something similar to this:
(OK, just joking)
Well sure, but Janus applies to labor unions. That's a bit of an apple to an orange.
The primary difference between a Janus case and my suggested scenario is the union was requiring membership and directly collecting dues in exchange for work. I don't think that applies or could be easily skirted for non-essential licensing.
Amateur Radio licensing fee's may instead be officially collected for or by the FCC, and, after some skim, kicked-back by the Feds to reimburse the non-profit NGO operating as a sub-contractor doing administration and other services. Membership status and privileges would just be a "no extra cost" perk.
And not all licenses may require the annual fee. As I understand the proposal in Sweden, only QRO ie > 100w, amateur stations, would requires a license that carries an annual fee, collected by their regulator, for now. All other use would be automatically granted, no license required, just apply and get a call sign administered from their ARRL equivalent (SSA).
The concept is also a bit like the Performance Rights Organization (PRO) system , like ASCAP has set up regarding licensing and control of performing music in public (includes radio broadcast). Pay-to-Play ...
Might be a bit of a stretch and not likely to happen but similar thinking would have the NRA handle all firearms licensing.
Right. Except that licensing would have to be per STATE (?) for firearms and therefore much more complicated.
Still not necessarily an infeasible idea for guns IMO. (trying to stay way from good or bad judgement for now) However, it would probably put the NRA in a very awkward political position, ie, having to be an active part of regulation, which I think they would not want. Easier and more effective for their purposes to just lobby. Different then the ARRL's apparent agenda.
An outsourced and privatised licence administration and (pre-)enforcement organisation is the "wet dream" of the control-freaks that are running organised amateur radio.
The step of requiring compulsory membership to get and keep a licence is a very short one indeed.
"If you give them an inch, they will take a mile..."
We have had very bad experiences of such an outsourced system here, where the accountability and transparency required by law from Government bodies becomes absent.
However, there are some light in the darkness. Late last year, the Danish society EDR entered into an agreement with the Danish regulator to take over both the examinations and the licence administration, and even formed a limited company, Radio Certificate Denmark A/S, to handle this task.
The intended means of financing these operations were not entirely clear, which caused some unrest within the Danish amateur radio community.
A little later there started severe in-fighting among the Board members of the EDR, which lead to the society falling apart before the eyes of the members and other beholders.
The beholders also included the Government, which after some delibrations declared that they had lost confidence in the EDR and postponed the implementation of the agreement indefinitely.
I believe that this may be the "writing on the wall" with regard to total deregulation, and that hopefully more normal and Government regulated conditions may return.
It would be interesting to see the public comment period were FCC to propose delegating any regulatory authority to ARRL. I suspect the resistance to the idea would be... substantial.
It would also be an interesting legal question as to whether the FCC has the authority to delegate any regulatory authority to a third party. They certainly outsource certain functions to contractors (testing, e.g.), but if something statutory (like enforcement) were to be outsourced, I suspect there would be a good case for invalidating it. Even in the case of testing, the FCC didn't outsource to any single group. There are numerous VECs and COLEMs, so no one organization has yet been named as "in charge" of things even as simple as test administration.
It would also be a hard case to make that ARRL is suitable for outsourcing anything, since they haven't been able to capture a membership that contains even a respectable minority of licensees in the pool they claim to represent.
Agreed, no actual regulation authority, but outsourced administration and "information services", for a fee.
Of course there could be alternative providers entertained, even competitive bids. But the ARRL certainly has the long established inside track and could mount a formidable argument for sole sourcing.
This is essentially correct, the limit for licence-exemption is however proposed to be 200 W (modelled after the Belgian system).
The reasons for this proposal are that the lawyers have gotten into legal difficulties permitting high-powered (1 kW)transmitters
operating under licence-exemption rules that are orignally intended for e.g. WiFi, mobile telephones and other mass-market low powered applicances. A quite broad range of power limits for exemption were initially discussed, my informed sources spoke of both 25, 50 and 100 W.
And, there will still be a (very simple) licence exam required to get a callsign.
But it was a "close shave" some years ago when the same lawyers seriously questioned the legality of requiring an exam and a certificate for operating radio appliances that actually were licence-exempt...
As a former employee of the Government organisation Swedish Telecom (Televerket) that once regulated everything telecommunications in a very good and competent way before heavy-handed politicians threw a wrench in the works,
I repeat my old saying:
"Televerket kom tillbaka! Allt är förlåtet!"
("Televerket, come back! All is forgiven!")
They certainly seem to make the most noise, and have some long filing documents. I can't see where the FCC takes them any more seriously than anybody else, though. I have to wonder if that has anything to do with their small membership share.
In any event, sole-sourcing to a non-profit can be hazardous. If the non-profit goes under, the regulator has to find a replacement quickly. And government agencies aren't in the habit of streamlining.
They make the most noise because of the substantial amount of membership revenues they can flaunt on legal adventures, lavish on Wash DC lobbyists and Directors expense accounts for face time on CSPAN.
I think they are taken seriously simply because despite their small membership share, they are the only significant and apparently unified noise makers on these issues.
The FCC has been in the process of downsizing for awhile. If they want to continue further and outsource more they have a motive, so they will WANT to take the ARRL seriously, perhaps even more then the ARRL is prepared to be taken.
Its a fact the ARRL has deep roots, is long established. A NGO that receives a substantial gov't subsidy for outsourced services is inherently protected from going under.