ARRL Proposal to Give Technicians More Operating Privileges

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by NW7US, Apr 10, 2019.

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  1. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    The status quo will continue until the FCC gets a petition that contains evidence that there is something wrong with the status quo. That's very clear in their writings if you bother to read them.
    ...then you should have seen exactly what you just asked for. Go read it again.

    Oh nevermind, it's silly for me to expect people to do their homework around here.


    And here:

    That certainly is the direction that the thread seems to be going. :)

    I find it interesting that the FCC has now taken to sitting on petitions, even those open to comments, for years without action. Sort of a "pocket veto." That's what I expect from this one as well. Enjoy debating it, because it is dead on arrival. If that weren't the case, you wouldn't need to argue for it so strenuously. If it had any chance at all you would just sit back and wait for it to naturally happen. The fact that some of you argue for it so angrily is strong evidence for the weakness of the petition.

    Then again, some of us knew that before you started. :)
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
    WG7X likes this.
  2. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    At least throw me a bone here. The FCC published many documents over the years and only a handful of them have any relevance to the issue at hand. I'm not going to read through piles of documents for an opinion from the FCC that may only exist in your mind.

    Reading it again does not mean the FCC made this argument "repeatedly". Also, as pointed out earlier, the FCC backtracked on their decision in 05-143 with their comments in 06-178.

    Later, in paragraph 24, they made the comment I quoted earlier that they were unwilling to consider further expansion of Technician privileges "at this time" because the matter of the dispute was on the disparity between Technician and Technician Plus privileges when the only difference in testing requirements was the Morse code test. This implied they recognized that this change opened them up to further changes as this was a recognition that testing for the Technician license did in fact cover testing on HF operations, not just the operation above 30 MHz as was argued by many.

    So you gave me a petition that the ARRL submitted and the FCC caved in on later and left the door open for future reconsideration, and a badly written TMRA petition that (I admit) failed miserably but asked for something quite different from the ARRL petition under discussion. I'd be willing to grant you one or the other on the FCC denying a petition like what the ARRL is proposing now, but not both, and once is still not "repeatedly".


    So, if we argue for it "strenuously" then it is because it is doomed to fail? What if people did not argue for it so "strenuously"? My guess is that people would conclude it didn't have the support of the Amateur radio community and therefore was doomed to fail.

    I'm not making you reply. If you find this back and forth a fruitless endeavor then let it die. You might claim that proponents argue for this "strenuously" and "angrily" because it doesn't have a chance. I believe it is because people feel this is an important update to Amateur radio licensing, that if the FCC sees people being complacent then that gives them permission to ignore it, and if it doesn't happen now then we will not have a chance to make this argument again for many years. This petition may in fact be dismissed by the FCC, but if they see some support for it then at least we can all read their opinion on the matter to come back later to try again with new arguments to address this new opinion.
  3. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, that's not really what I'm saying.

    What I wa trying to point out is that all this hopeful argument in favor of the petition on the grounds that "FCC left the door open" or other such things -- none of it addresses the points on which FCC rejected very similar ideas over the last 15y or so. The only arguments i'm seeing in all of the threads and posts are things like "well, it's several years later, maybe they'll change their minds this time?" or "things are different now." Neither of those points is addressed in the petition or any of its admittedly enthusiastic supporters. And both arguments failed to impress FCC the last few times they were tried.

    FCC rejected (for example) TMRA's proposal because they didn't show cause for the proposed action. Requests very similar to the current ARRL petition were rejected in the 05-143 rulemaking for very similar reasons.

    Until people show cause with supporting evidence as to why the proposed changes are needed and in the public interest, repeating the petition every few years changes nothing.

    "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Without evidence, that's what the League's petition sounds like.
  4. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I believe you need to take your own advice on reading what the FCC has said on this topic over the years. You keep going back to 05-143 while ignoring the backtracking they made on Technician privileges in 06-178. They stated quite plainly that their 2005 decision was faulty and corrected it in their 2006 decision 18 months later.

    Things are different this time. In 2005 CW was the second most popular mode on HF, after SSB phone. Now it's third or fourth depending on the polling you can find. Some polls group all digital modes together and so CW ends up in third place, when different digital modes are broken out separately CW is in fourth place. Keeping CW only HF bandwidth for Technician likely made sense for the FCC in 2006, that's a harder case to make today.

    What makes this petition different now, and "in the public interest", is that the public is more interested in digital modes. The FCC was a small step short of granting privileges for additional modes on HF for Technician in 2006 but didn't see enough demand for it then.

    I don't see this as the ARRL asking the FCC, "are we there yet?" The ARRL is asking the FCC, "are you there yet?" The Amateur radio community has been asking for this from the FCC for over 15 years now. It appears that there is enough public support for this now that the FCC might just listen.

    I believe that this petition is gaining far more exposure and discussion now precisely because the FCC is giving hints that they are prepared to move on this. And that appears to frighten a vocal minority. What is so frightening to them still confuses me. It's almost as if they like that incentive licensing is failing to provide any incentive today.
  5. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Tell it to FCC, you're wasting your time with me. Again, I agree with FCC, and they say there's no reason for petitions like this, and they have dismissed a number of them for lack of evidence.

    Talk around it all you want... that's the current and ongoing position of the US government. Nothing in ARRL's petition supports any conclusion to the contrary. It was all just conjecture. It's truly unfortunate that ARRL didn't even try to do the one thing FCC insisted that they do before they consider a petition like this -- collect evidence supporting their assertions.
    I know you believe that. :)
  6. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    As I stated a few pages back I'm not having this discussion to convince you of anything, only to establish how you came to the conclusion you did. Another thing I wish to make clear is that I'm not certain how the FCC would rule on this, only that the claims the FCC will outright dismiss this petition is not supported by the evidence.

    What kind of evidence do you believe they looking for? They post such petitions for comments for a reason. My guess is to gauge public support being a major reason. What I'm seeing is plenty of public support and the opposition being more about spittle and rage than any kind of reasoned argument.

    The "current and ongoing" position in the 05-143 document, that you've been referencing for something like 2 years now, was revised 18 months later. The FCC reversed much of this 2005 decision in 06-178, which I quoted earlier in this thread. The FCC recognized that those holding a Technician license were in fact trained in HF operations, in digital operations, and phone operations. What they did though was dismiss the petitions for expanded phone and digital privileges at the time, implying extending Technician Plus privileges to Technician was an appropriate compromise at the time as the issue at hand was Morse code testing and nothing more. They didn't want to get into anything beyond that since that was not the primary topic of the petitions submitted then.

    You also believe what you want. Again, you claim 05-143 is the "current and ongoing" policy of the FCC but 06-178 said something different. You believe that the FCC dismissed petitions like this one "repeatedly" and so far only cited two such cases, one of which I found was largely reversed 18 months later. Can you show me other such instances?
  7. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I read the documents from FCC.
    And yet, they rejected an even smaller (dare I say, more modest?) proposal from TMRA a few years after that, based on the principles they established in 05-143.
    Sure, just search the forums for posts by me including the search term "05-143."
    Yes, I take FCC at their word on this one. Hints and innuendo aren't public policy.

    This is getting old. I'm growing weary of having to post the same references repeatedly, only for you and others to refuse to read/understand them. Some of you have a religious attachment to the idea that "this time is different." All you are doing is wasting FCC attention on a non-issue -- time that could be spent on far more productive improvements to the service. I guess I shouldn't be surprised -- you keep trying to waste my time by asking the same leading questions repeatedly, without bothering to read what I have already written on the subject.

    "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?"

  8. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I guess it's time for some quotes again:

    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.

    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 new privileges for Techs is inconsistent with FCC's goals. They want people to upgrade to get more HF privileges, and specifically to get more mode privileges. And they have established that requiring people to upgrade isn't a barrier to anybody.

    It's amazing how old arguments become new again:

    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 2019..." 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.
  9. WG7X

    WG7X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    So, just as an experiment this morning, I put the two most prolific serial argumentative posters on temporary ignore.

    Holy Fog machine Batman! Did that improve the signal-to-noise ration on this particular thread! Now I can see the folks who had something new to contribute to this dog-eared mess without having to find me way thru the thick fog that had descended. Pity that nothing really new has been added...

    It's too bad that some folks simply don't know when to quit...

    Having said that...

    Later dudes!
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  10. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nominated as POST OF THE DAY!

    Still literally laughing out loud at "most prolific serial argumentative posters". Hilarious! Thank you.

    Your experiment methodology certainly trumps "unwatching" a thread: filter; not block.

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