ARRL Petition to Expand Technician Privileges

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K4KYV, Mar 2, 2018.

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  1. W9BFZ

    W9BFZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    As someone who went from no license to Extra in one evening without even having to sharpen my pencil, I don't see how people can be "stuck" at technician. I identified a goal, I worked towards said goal, I achieved said goal. It took about a month of study. Am I an expert in the radio field? Far from it. Do I know everything I need to know? Far from it. I'm just getting started it. But now the only thing standing between me and the things I want to learn is my own motivation.
    N5JEO, NK2U, WE4E and 6 others like this.
  2. W4KYR

    W4KYR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Regarding all the action is on 10 meters (and not on 15 meters). It's because all the classes from Novice up through Extra can operate SSB there. In addition, there are way more 10 meter mobile rigs than there are 15 meter mobile rigs. (I think maybe only one manufacturer ever produced a 15 meter mobile rig - NGC ?).

    Regarding contests being jammed with signals, true. Except for the WARC bands which Technicians are not allowed to operate and probably never will be allowed to operate.

    Giving the Technicians digital privileges where they can use CW now would seem like a good compromise (instead of giving them voice privileges), however it could result in more QRM for those who wish to use CW. Plus it might result in those learning Morse Code now for the first time to lose interest in it altogether in favor of the digital modes instead.
    N2EY likes this.
  3. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The pie analogy isn't valid. A pie is a non-reusable object.

    A better analogy would be a mass-transit bus or subway.

    Unless someone carries a bunch of parcels all the time, or is into "manspreading", they can only use one seat at a time on a mass transit bus or subway train. Today, only Generals, Advanceds and Extras can ride most of the buses/trains; Technicians and Novices are limited to a few cars on a few trains, some buses, and only if they stand.

    Giving Technicians HF 'phone and digital beyond 10 meters would be like allowing them to ride more trains/buses and more cars on them - and allowing them to sit. Some see this as a good thing, because a train or bus with few riders is always in danger of being cancelled because of lack of ridership. Others oppose the idea, because it means that sometimes they may not have the same choice of seats they have today.

    Worse, the Technicians get discounted transit tickets.....just like senior citizens......

    KC3BZJ likes this.
  4. KS2G

    KS2G Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, of course they can.

    But look at the poster to which I've been responding -- his contention is that an influx of Technicians under the proposal to give them more SSB band space will fill up so many frequencies, making them unavailable to Generals that they'll be "taking away" General class band-width.

    That's unlikely to happen -- but a significant number of Techs already on HF surely will take advantage of new privileges and operate in their "new" SSB band segments, providing additional QSO opportunities in those band segments that would otherwise not be there.

    Also -- With their HF privileges confined to cw on three bands and cw/digital/ssb available only on 10-meters, many (probably most) Techs currently don't expend the time/effort/expense of HF at all. With new SSB privileges on more bands, many are likely to venture onto HF for the first time (which is the whole point of the proposal), providing additional QSO opportunities overall.;)
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
  5. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Forgive me for paraphrasing. The Commission's quote is much more on-point.
  6. KS2G

    KS2G Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not questioning that.
    Was just clarifying that I responded to what you posted, not what you may have intended to say. ;)
  7. K1OIK

    K1OIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You are totally correct.
    KC3BZJ and N2EY like this.
  8. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't see the discrepancy -- FCC doesn't consider the Technician license to qualify the holder to operate with more than CW outside of their little 10m HF window. Does that qualification make you happier? ;) In fact, FCC considered expanding the CW privileges of Techs at one point, as you see below, but not any other mode.

    Maybe we should just review what FCC actually said -- after all, it's their opinion, not ours, that matters here. Quoth the Commission:

    As discussed above, the current structure of operator license classes and their associated operating privileges was developed so that additional frequency privileges are a significant incentive for amateur radio operators to advance their communication and technical skills. Requests that we authorize additional operating privileges to Novice and Technician Plus Class licensees we believe are inconsistent with this incentive licensing structure because the requests, if granted, would lessen the additional privileges a licensee would receive when they upgraded.
    So the FCC would seem to agree with @KY5U in his assertion that adding more HF privileges to the Tech license would diminish the General license. But they go on.

    In this regard, we note that the additional privileges the petitions request we authorize these licensees, specifically the additional frequency bands and emission types in the MF and HF bands, are currently authorized to General Class licensees, and that Novice and Technician Plus Class licensees can earn these privileges by passing only one or two written examinations. We also note that the petitions assume that specific narrow frequency segments in certain HF bands will remain authorized to Novice and Technician Class licensees. In the Phone Band Expansion NPRM, however, the Commission proposed to eliminate the Novice and Technician Plus Class telegraphy subbands and, in their place, authorize Novice and Technician Plus Class licensees to control an amateur station transmitting in any portion of the 80, 40 and 15 m amateur service bands that provide for telegraphy operation by General Class licensees. We note that the combined effect of the requests in the aforementioned petitions and the Phone Band Expansion NPRM, if adopted, would be to authorize Technician Class licensees significantly more spectrum in the HF bands than the petitioners request. In that additional frequency privileges and the authority to transmit messages using additional emission types are major incentives for licensees to upgrade to a higher class of operator license, and we do not want to diminish this incentive, we conclude that it would not be in the public interest to propose authorizing additional HF frequency privileges to Technician Class licensees. Accordingly, we deny these requests.

    So the Commission's position is that if you want more privileges, upgrade. And upgrading in 2018 involves not much more than some paperwork.

    But there's more.

    The NCVEC Petition II proposes that we establish a new “Communicator Class” license as the new introductory amateur service operator license. NCVEC claims that whatattracts individuals to amateur radio appears to have changed over the years, as a consequence of which the current license system does not correlate particularly well with the present needs of licensees, and it argues that a new introductory license would allow individuals who presently are not licensees access to amateur radio in a meaningful way and with enough privileges so that they can experience a reasonable cross-section of the various facets of amateur radio.
    Does that argument sound familiar? It should. But it goes on...

    Similarly, the ARRL Petition proposes that we establish a new entry-level "Novice" Class operator license that would include VHF and UHF privileges, and limited HF telegraphy, data, and voice privileges without requiring a Morse code test. In support of this request, the ARRL argues that the Technician Class license leaves newcomers to the amateur service in an isolated position because it allows them to conduct only local, rather than worldwide, communications, thus not providing many licensees the opportunity to pursue an active, progressive interest in amateur radio.

    Well look at that, the ARRL already tried that argument at least once before. Let's see what FCC had to say about that...

    Regarding requests that we establish a new introductory class of operator license, we note that the requested license would authorize significantly greater HF privileges than the current Novice or Technician Plus Class license authorizes, but significantly less than the General Class license currently authorizes. We do not believe that such a new type of license is necessary because, as the Commission observed in the Phone Band Expansion NPRM, Novice and Technician Plus Class licensees can easily upgrade to the General Class, thereby obtaining access to significantly more spectrum than the requested new introductory class of operator license would authorize. We also note that, if our proposal to eliminate telegraphy testing in the amateur service is adopted, a person who is not a licensee will be able to qualify for a General Class operator license by passing two written examinations, and that a person who is a Technician Class licensee will be able to qualify for a General Class operator license by passing one written examination. We do not believe that these requirements are unreasonable, given the amount of spectrum available to General Class licensees. Accordingly, we deny the requests.

    Those of you who keep saying "well, 2005 was a long time ago, the FCC might change their mind in 2018..." please show me which of the points raised by FCC in 2005 has materially changed since then?? Their argument was based on an assumption that we would have exactly the structure we have today. There is no material difference in the regulatory situation between 2005 and today. Requests to just upgrade the 10m privileges of Technician license failed as recently as 2013. There is no way to effectively argue for this idea in 2018 until you address all of the Commission's points, above.

    The case is closed, people. There is nothing new here. ARRL's proposal is going to fail because they haven't addressed any of the points raised by the FCC in their denials of this idea. All of their wheel-spinning on this issue is just wasting time, money, and what little is left of their political capital at FCC.

    It's over. Time to move on to real issues that affect the entire service, instead of trying to turn the Technician license into a consolation prize.
    K4KYV, KY5U, WD3N and 1 other person like this.
  9. KS2G

    KS2G Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, because your post to which I responded did not make that qualification.
    Had you included it, I would not have responded as I did. ;)
  10. KK5JY

    KK5JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Fantastic, I'm glad you are now happy. And now that you have satisfied your word-smithing needs, you just further prove my original point. :cool:
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