ARRL Entry Level License Committee Report July 2017

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by NN4RH, Aug 2, 2017.

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  1. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good luck with your ideas. I think they are pretty much DOA, for several different reasons, but I can see that the idea may appeal to a few people out there. I think an easier approach would be to clarify the treaties and agreements with those countries that require Morse proficiency. If these counties accept a CEPT, then our extra already fits that bill. If they don't, then a separate document showing code proficiency could be shown, like a CSCE from a VEC or a commercial radiotelegraph license. A person could obtain a CSCE by showing that he was licensed with a code test at sometime in the past, much like credit given for pre 1987 tech licenses. And the VE teams could start offering code tests again as a way to get a CSCE, for those who have never had one.

    Something like this would require a paragraph or two in part 97, and no changes to the database. Once you start changing the entire FCC database, you would open up a can of worms.
  2. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    You keep saying things like this, but you are saying them in a place where it is guaranteed to never have any effect. Go write up your ideas for the Commission and submit them. Even the "Tyro" license people understand this.
    K0IDT likes this.
  3. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    But maybe airing ideas here first will expose problems or show a lack of support. If everyone immediately submitted ideas to the FCC, they would be overwhelmed.

    The "Tyro" thing is a good example. If it had been floated here first, the lack of support, the technical problems, and the problems with rule changes could have been brought out. Instead, it was sent as a petition that has zero chance of being implemented.
  4. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Exactly. ARRL leadership understands the need to run things by their members before proposing things to the FCC. In making a proposal to the FCC as representatives of the ARRL they might have a legal duty to run things by the members first, as private citizens they do not, though that separation between acting as a private citizen or as ARRL leadership might be difficult to make when submitting a proposal to the FCC.

    I remember the flood of proposals to the FCC when the ITU decided to make Morse code testing optional. There were lots of crazy ideas submitted, lots of good ones too. Might have been helpful if some of these people discussed the matter with others before sending things off to the FCC. I do recall the people that did some polling of people before making their submission, and I think that did a lot to make a case.

    I recall a poll that had 40% for no more Morse code testing, 30% for keeping the test for Extra, and 30% for keeping things the same. That's not exactly how the numbers were but something like that. So the FCC went with the plurality. This also meant a lot of people trying to make the argument of adding 30% to 30% and trying to make that into some kind of majority for keeping the testing. Not sure how that would get resolved, keeping the testing while trying to find a majority. Had I submitted my ideas to the FCC then on how to resolve the matter I'm sure that would be rejected as it would involve putting that "majority" on a football field, give each one a baseball bat, and make sure no one leaves until they've "discussed" the matter and come to an agreement. Oh, and I'd sell tickets to watch the "discussion" to cover the cost of the field rental. Any extra funds would be donated to the families of the deceased.

    I agree that the Tyro petition is an example of an idea that likely needed some thought before being submitted. I'd rather have the details figured out before submitting to the FCC so they don't have to try to fill in the details themselves.

    After the flood of petitions at the time Morse code testing was dropped I can see why the FCC might say they are done changing things. That was a mess. At some point the FCC will be more agreeable to making changes, that time may be now if we don't flood them with half baked ideas.
  5. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    You crack me up.

    Carry on. ;)
    NK2U likes this.
  6. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I thought this was about a poll the ARRL did. They did poll their members on this, right? Says so on the first page of this thread.
    N4AAB likes this.
  7. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, no. The committee came up with three options. It doesn't say they did that based on member input, or that even if they did, that the options were somehow proportional to the member input, or more importantly, proportional to the US ham population's input. The process was not in any way transparent with respect to the survey.

    Further, two of the three options were near carbon-copies of options that the Commission has rejected previously on principle. People can object that that was "a long time ago" all they want, but the FCC rejected both of those ideas on specific principles that have not changed in the intervening years, and nobody has introduced any new substantial arguments since then, present company included.

    Further, the ARRL is not well known for making its legislative advocacy decisions based upon transparent polling of the membership.

    And last, any action before the Commission based on membership "poll data" is pointless, because (a) the Commission isn't some democratic process bound to obey the wishes of the majority, and (b) the ARRL doesn't represent anywhere near the majority of US hams to start with.

    So there is no logical or legal process that can connect "ARRL" and "polling data" to an outcome at FCC in any kind of predictable or reliable way.
  8. K0IDT

    K0IDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Where is the public posting of the votes and comments? They never put those items up and when the proposal hits the FCC the comments there usually
    are quite different than what ARRL claimed as "support".
    NK2U and KK5JY like this.
  9. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    You say that the FCC is not convinced by polling data but instead by a coherent and well formed argument. Yet when I come here to seek input on creating a coherent and well formed argument you mock me for coming here first rather than going to the FCC. What do you want? Do you want people to go to the FCC with a well formed idea, or just keep tossing things at the FCC and see what sticks?

    We saw what happened when the FCC was flooded with a bunch of poorly formed ideas and little support for any of them, they essentially got pissed off and did as little as they could to appease enough people and hope they went away. How about we not piss them off again with a bunch of half baked ideas and try to form some sort of consensus first? This may or may not include the ARRL.

    While polling data doesn't mean something is a good idea it should help in getting close. The FCC is not the ARRL's plaything but we have to recognize that the ARRL does carry more weight than a single individual. At a minimum they have a bunch of people that know how to write, whether these people are used to their full potential does seem to be debatable. Polling data also gives an idea on what kind of comments the FCC would receive. I think it would be best to try to create a proposal that pleases as many people as possible before it gets to the FCC so the vitriol is contained on QRZ and other internet forums instead of as public record with the FCC.

    I'd rather not waste the FCC's time with a bunch of "Tyro-like" proposals and instead create something that is not only clear and coherent but also can get a as much support as possible from the community.
    KC3BZJ likes this.
  10. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I went back and found a post I made in 2006, when debate on the NPRM was ongoing. I actually went through many of the comments to the FCC and determined how those comments were dividing. Here is that post, from June 8, 2006:

    "Well I went to the website of the guy who posted the results. He broke them down into "no-cw" "pro-cw" and "extra". "No-cw" is those for the NPRM. "Pro-cw" is those that want the current code tests retained (or increased). "Extra" are those that want the code test retained for extra, but are OK with the test being dropped for general. IOW, these people are not hardline coders, they would accept an HF license without a code test. Here are the numbers, as I counted them:

    No-CW: 1570 = 45%
    Pro-CW: 1104= 32%
    Extra: 800 = 23%

    Total comments excluding dupes: 3474

    Now, how you interpret the numbers are the key to this whole thing. Pro-code test people will tell you that 55% of the commenters want the code test to remain for at least some class of license, and this is true. No-coders will tell you that 68% of the commenters are OK with HF access without a code test, which is also true. Here is an interesting fact. No-coders represented 45% (almost half) of the commenters, and pro-coders represented 32%, or less than one third.

    If you are the FCC, what do you do with these numbers? Clearly, over two-thirds of the people that did comment, are for an HF license test without a code test, less than a third are demanding that it stay.

    The only question in anybody's mind should be whether or not code will be retained for extra, since it looks like the FCC has a "mandate" for a codeless general, at least based on the comments, and the FCC's own thoughts."

    I think the FCC is indeed swayed by the comments. If most of the commenters had wanted to retain the code test, we might still have it today. This is why it is important to make sure whatever proposal you put forth has a lot of backing in the ham community.

    As a side note, it is interesting that only 3500 hams commented on this NPRM which was certainly the most controversial thing to hit ham radio in the last 30 years or more. What it tells me is that most hams just didn't care enough to post a comment, either way.

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