FCC proposes new filing fee structure, new fees for ham radio

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KU3N, Aug 27, 2020.

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  1. WB6DJI

    WB6DJI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most Starbucks are closed due to COVID-19
    So you statement is incorrect
  2. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Same ol music, same ol song and dance

  3. WA6VVC

    WA6VVC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Whats a hunting tag or fishing license run these days? Then there's the rifle, ammo & a jeep... pole & bait, maybe a boat.
    Doesn't take much to spin up the QRZ-HIT-O-METER. Another ham prediction that the"sky could fall"
    K8PG, KU4X and K3XR like this.
  4. K2CD

    K2CD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    So from the ARRL news release of August 28 they mention this towards the bottom:

    "The FCC also proposes to assess a $50 fee for individuals who want a printed copy of their license. “The Commission has proposed to eliminate these services — but to the extent the Commission does not do so, we propose a fee of $50 to cover the costs of these services,” the FCC said."

    I'm assuming (and you know where that gets you) that this is in addition to the "nominal" license fee. If so it is ludicrous. What is this "The Commission has proposed to eliminate these services" malarkey? AFAIK, printed licenses were done away with a long time ago, unless they're referring to that piss poor photocopy they send you now, if you request one. It would be audacious to charge an additional fifty dollars for a .02 copy. For the $50.00 Amateur Radio Service fee, a decent quality copy on the former type of paper they used should be included with each and every renewal.

    Or maybe QRZ.com can procure some quality paper and sell copies at a nominal fee. Certainly cheaper than fifty bucks.
  5. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Public Law No: 115-141 (03/23/2018)

    Highlights: This bill provides FY2018 appropriations for federal agencies for the remainder of FY2018.

    Given that appropriations bills are often last minute exercises in keeping the government funded, I wonder if the assumed fee structure for ham radio applications is an oversight in the creation of the law?



    ``(a) General Authority; Establishment of Schedule.--The Commission
    shall assess and collect application fees at such rates as the
    Commission shall establish in a schedule of application fees to recover
    the costs of the Commission to process applications.

    Section 8 (application fees) (page 736) specifically exempts non-commercial radio stations. Amateur stations fall into that category.

    Section 9 (regulatory fees) (page 738) specifically exempts amateur stations, along with non-commercial stations.

    I believe Section 8 and section 9 should be (and were probably originally intended to be) congruent.


    Section 8:

    application fees established under this section shall not be
    applicable to—
    ‘‘(A) a governmental entity;
    ‘‘(B) a nonprofit entity licensed in the Local Government, Police, Fire, Highway Maintenance, Forestry-Conservation, Public Safety, or Special Emergency Radio radio
    services; or
    ‘‘(C) a noncommercial radio station or noncommercial
    television station.

    Section 9:

    regulatory fees established under this section shall not be
    applicable to—
    ‘‘(A) a governmental entity or nonprofit entity;
    ‘‘(B) an amateur radio operator licensee under part
    97 of the Commission’s rules (47 CFR part 97); or
    ‘‘(C) a noncommercial radio station or noncommercial
    television station.

    Also note: the FCC will be required to reassess these fees, adjusting them up or down according to a percentage tied to the consumer price index, in every even numbered year.

    This is noteworthy because forfeiture items in 1960 were limited to $1,000 max and intended for commercial stations, when forfeitures were first allowed by congress, over the objections of the congressional committee, who preferred the FCC to send cease and desist letters, which they had not done. Much later, the FCC unilaterally decided that congress had intended to include amateurs in the scheme. Today, forfeiture amounts are increased with the inflation index. When we consider how these amounts increase with the inflation index and the consumer price index, we need not imagine what the future will bring.

    We began with a $1,000 max forfeiture amount, for commercial stations, and now the amounts are in the millions, for everyone, including landlords -- who may not even be aware of pirate activity in their rental units.

  6. KM1H

    KM1H Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only reason for ARRL dues is to pay for their existence since they only have ~ 15 % of licensed US hams as members and most of those have been licensed for many years such as myself since 1956.
    Citing the RAY BAUMs act is a joke and the "youth" will spend more that $50 on new sneakers in a year never mind 10 years.:p:rolleyes:
    K3XR likes this.
  7. K0CV

    K0CV Ham Member QRZ Page

    NONE of the commissioners have a technical background; all are lawyers. Most come from the cellphone, etc. world. There was an attempt some time ago to pass a law requiring each commissioner to have an electrical engineer on their staff. Never passed.
    K8PG and N2EY like this.
  8. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    A $50 fee now, plus $15 to take the test is $65 per application, assuming Tech, then General, then Extra, are taken over time (not on the same day), that's $65 for each exam.

    However that amount could rise in every even numbered year:


    ``(a) General Authority; Establishment of Schedule.--The Commission
    shall assess and collect application fees at such rates as the
    Commission shall establish in a schedule of application fees to recover
    the costs of the Commission to process applications.

    ``(b) Adjustment of Schedule.--

    ``(1) In general.--In every even-numbered year, the
    Commission shall review the schedule of application fees
    established under this section and, except as provided in
    paragraph (2), set a new amount for each fee in the schedule
    that is equal to the amount of the fee on the date when the fee
    was established or the date when the fee was last amended under
    subsection (c), whichever is later--

    ``(A) increased or decreased by the percentage
    change in the Consumer Price Index during the period
    beginning on such date and ending on the date of the
    review; and

    ``(B) rounded to the nearest $5 increment.
    N6ATF likes this.
  9. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some may be surprised to know that you do not require a law degree to be a judge of the Supreme Court.

    "The Constitution does not specify qualifications for Justices such as age, education, profession, or native-born citizenship. A Justice does not have to be a lawyer or a law school graduate, but all Justices have been trained in the law. Many of the 18th and 19th century Justices studied law under a mentor because there were few law schools in the country."
    N6ATF, N2EY and KM1H like this.
  10. KU4X

    KU4X Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    Most Starbucks are open (at least the drive-thru window for those stores that have one) in spite of Covid-19,
    so your statement is incorrect.

    KD2MIC, N2EY and K3XR like this.
  11. N1FM

    N1FM Ham Member QRZ Page

    True, and of course, even if they did have an EE, that doesn't guarantee any knowledge of radio, rules, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Bill of Rights, FOIA, and most of the other important precedents involved with safeguarding individual rights, liberties, and privileges. As with most admin agencies, the Peter Principle usually prevails. This leads to Peter's Corollary: "In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties."
    K8PG, N6ATF and N2EY like this.
  12. K4RGN

    K4RGN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    With 22 pages of this thread so far, obviously a lot of people are stirred up by the FCC's proposal. But I'm not one of them. I had been wondering all along when the FCC would do something about the ongoing flood of applications for 1x2 and 2x1 vanity calls.

    To the extent that $50 might dissuade some people from entering the hobby, we may find that those are the same people who currently make little or no use of their licenses once obtained and simply let them expire without ever getting on the air much (or making an investment in their station beyond buying a Baofeng).

    Otherwise, I wonder how many people opposing the FCC's proposal have thousands of dollars of radios, antennas, and related equipment at their stations.
    PA0MHS and K2NCC like this.
  13. K2NCC

    K2NCC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hams have been saying that for decades, yet here we are, more licensees and advancements in the hobby than ever before.

    Hard to believe there's 200 posts on how broke people are. As they do so on their $1000 phones.
    PA0MHS, KC1DR, WQ4G and 2 others like this.
  14. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Almost no one here has debated that the fee structure should be free. Fees are not being excluded in this thread. SO paying something FOR something is clearly likely.

    The main issue is--why do a GLOBAL one-time $50 payment for renewal?

    The Part 97 service has almost NO costs to the FCC, as both testing and licensing are handled through our own licensee organizations, such as the ARRL.

    Even enforcement is , in vast majority people-wise, handles through the VM's.

    Certainly vanity callsigns make sense to charge. Perhaps some others as well.

    But why charge a global shot when hams, by definition, cannot themselves amortize the cost for their efforts through the Part 97 mission?

    My biggest fear is someone did something stupid, like ASSUME that 90% of hams will renew with this fee structure, and project a revenue on a spread sheet for years , say, 2022 to 2025, and show the cost-neutral profile. But the actual percentage of renewals will probably be far less than 60% (because of modest means, and 'just in case' hams) with a $50 charge, IMO, so the spread sheet will vastly UNDERESTIMATE the revenues to the FCC through same, thereby requiring the fee to go from $50 to, say, $100 +by 2025.

    Not well thought out at the FCC, IMO.
    N6ATF, N2EY and (deleted member) like this.
  15. K5EF

    K5EF Ham Member QRZ Page

    An amateur's license term is for ten years. If a ham can't afford $5 a year for the many spectrum privileges we enjoy, then consider pursuing another hobby. Here in the US and elsewhere, there is intense competition for radio spectrum and companies spend huge sums securing spectrum for their needs. It is very easy for the FCC to look at taking spectrum from radio services that pay nothing for it and reallocating that to others willing to pay plenty for their ability to use a scarce resource. Keep that thought in mind.

    73 Nick K5EF
    K8PG, WN1MB and K2NCC like this.
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