FCC fees for amateur radio - updates on implementation

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N2RJ, Jul 9, 2021.

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  1. AL6C

    AL6C Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have no problem with FCC fees. I will pay for the fee by broadcasting advertising! I know more than just something about selling advertising time.
  2. KQ9I

    KQ9I Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's a valid point, and it's no burden on me to pay for a license. It does take time, money and resources to administer hundreds of thousands of licenses. There seem to be two real arguments:

    1) Is the fee to be charged in line with the cost of administering the Amateur Radio Service? I don't know, and I doubt anyone has done the math. The attorney at the FCC who is in amateur radio enforcement (sorry I forget her name. Riley's successor) probably costs around $150,000/yr. Then the computer and support structure for the ULS (shared among many services of course), plus some overhead, the monitoring center and staff, etc. Let's say it costs the FCC half a million to a million bucks a year. If there are 50,000 (ballpark...I don't have the exact number, but I think the ARRL VEC does about 40,000 a year) then that's about $1.75 million. We're probably overpaying for what we get, so inn essence this is a tax because it will be going to pay for other services we don't use. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but on the other hand, you can say that we're already paying SOME money for the FCC with our federal income tax dollars, so why add on a fee?

    2) Does the fee hinder or help the amateur radio service? I think it hinders more than helps. It's not a burden to most hams, but it IS a burden to some. I'm particularly concerned that young people won't get into the hobby. Granted, $35 isn't much of a barrier, but when you're 12 years old it can be. I truly wish they had set up a different fee structure. $5 for an initial license, for example (or better, zero dollars). Then a higher fee (within reason) for renewals, vanity calls and upgrades.

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
  3. KD5BVX

    KD5BVX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Again, as we know, the fee was determined by a study which evaluated the costs associated with the actual processing of licenses. The study was forced by Congress, as was the fee (the study was to determine what the fee should be and then the fee is to be implemented). It goes to offset what they were 'losing' by not charging a fee at all, and it also balances out with the GMRS service which will see a reduction in their license fee ($70 to $35). The talk about salaries of FCC staff, etc., is really a moot point.

    I do understand that some people are upset over it but I have two thoughts about it - 1) it's minimal, especially when prorated over 10 years, regardless of what anyone says (if they can't afford it they likely can't afford a radio, antenna, etc, needed to be on the air); and 2) there's nothing we can really do about it: we either pay (when it begins being collected) or not renew/upgrade/vanity. Whining really does nothing about it. If we are concerned about younger folks not being able to afford it then perhaps we as individuals or clubs should help cover the fee for them. That may be a great way to encourage someone - an extra push, if you will - when someone else is paying for them to get licensed. It may even help create an elmer/understudy situation.
    KJ7ZII likes this.
  4. WC5CW

    WC5CW Ham Member QRZ Page

    A one time fee? No big deal. A yearly fee? YES, a big deal and unreasonable. In 1996 or '97 paid $50 to acquire a vanity callsign. No big deal. Renewed 10 years later, "happy" no fee. What's the future? As citizens, lobby in writing the ARRL and your local U.S. Congressional Senators and Representatives expressing your serious concerns about fee proposals, legislation, and the corresponding FCC rules and regulations pertaining to Amateur Radio license fees. Numbers matter and the amateur radio community has formidable numbers. To repeat, in my opinion, the slippery slope resulting in the possibility of a yearly fee is unreasonable and an organized campaign objecting to it must be made
  5. WC5CW

    WC5CW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Today, most who are active radio ops are too young to know of local laws enacted by seemingly sane and intelligent adult government entities requiring a yearly fee for registering your bicycle in the 1950's and '60's. A bicycle, for heaven's sake. All I am suggesting --by general implication-- is that at anytime there are proposals made by legislatures to collect fees without regard to those who are targeted as payees. There are often ill considered motivations, ignorant or disregarding the larger picture. To be candid, as an amateur rado op first licensed in 1959 as a Novice, the "smell" of attaching a fee other than a one time license application (and 10 year renewal ?) fee is unacceptable and unjust for those who are aware of the history and the public service deeds of the Amateur Radio Service.
  6. KE5DUY

    KE5DUY Ham Member QRZ Page

  7. KE5DUY

    KE5DUY Ham Member QRZ Page

    When it goes through will be my last day to be an amateur, we already have lost the respect and recognition for our services like we had in the 70s and 80s for providing assistance in time of need and being part of the caring group to help those in times of emergency conditions. So our time is voluntary and fulfilling for us to be in a position to provide help but in most areas public services despise the antennas on our bases and mobiles.
  8. N3PZZ

    N3PZZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    And I'll bring the beer.
    K8PG and K6VOX like this.
  9. AI6XK

    AI6XK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I suppose that this is not surprising, given the current nature of the FCC... But Way back when they wanted to move all testing etc., to fellow amateurs, was the idea that fees would not be necessary!
  10. K0HWY

    K0HWY Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is a riot... ...guys with several thousand dollars tied up in radio equipment bitching and moaning about having to cough up $3.50 a year for a license. I know...it's the principle of the thing... . Maybe if we all go up there and have a meltdown in front of them, they'll cave in to our demands. It seems to be the preferred (and most effective) tactic of the day. Smh
    N2EY, KB2SMS, KD5BVX and 2 others like this.

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