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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. AH2AP

    AH2AP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I get it. I really do..

    I have experienced, as you can imagine, a lot of lessons and swift action against me.

    My point is that there are a ton of idiots, like myself, that are motivated into this kind of technology for an entirely different reason than that what is typical.

    The amateur license gives to those kinds of folks a chance to tickle the drive for more knowledge, being the art and science of radio, and live in harmony with it in a sociably acceptable way.

    Put any obstacles in the way whatsoever will, most undoubtedly, rob a person the opportunity to begin their radio journey legitimately.

    Think renegade repeater.... everywhere... because radios are cheaper for the consumer than permission is.

    Currently, a lot of prepper types are getting licenses. And being decent folks. The barrier that already exists, in my eyes, is about as hard, and easy as I ever want it to be for someone getting started.

    Something else is currently happening.

    There are incredibly cheap radios in the wild.

    Many of the unlicensed preppers have them too. Many of them that, already will never get a license because of a different kind of investment one must make to get a license.I don't think it is out of the question to believe there are more unlicensed folks having PTT capability that you can imagine.

    I'm pretty sure someone could poll the sales numbers of these cheap radios manufacturers in America and come to the conclusion, that easy access to policeable legitimacy is priceless already, and inhibiting that in any way undermines the foundations of its success.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
    N6ATF likes this.
  2. KI7HSB

    KI7HSB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am not for this fee... but I am not against it either. Don't really care either way because I can afford it.

    Reading some of these replies leaves me with the impression that a lot of older hams still think it's still 1968... when they got their tickets and $50 was a sizeable wad of cash. It's 2020 now and it cost me almost $50 just to have the kid down the street mow my yard just once. I can't believe people really think that it's an unfair and onerous obstacle to entry into the hobby.

    Kids these days have no clue what a safety pin is and think that crystals are fictional things that power magical space ships in the movies. With rare exceptions, they are NOT going to be building their own radios from scratch for pennies or less out of junk they found in dad's workshop like I did when I was a kid... in 1968. No, the ones that want to engage in this hobby will buy radios with their lawn mowing money... nice ones that cost far more than the almost $50 they get for every lawn they mow. Another $50 just to be legal? That's nothing these days.
    WG7X, ND6M, N3FAA and 3 others like this.
  3. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cost means little when you have the money.

    The problem is there are plenty of people in modest circumstances who may NOT be able to afford that fee, and there is no provision to provide an exemption in such cases.

    And I think you are being a little unrealistic: there are plenty of young people who do not mow lawns because they live nowhere near a lawn; ham radio has been and is a way out and up for them; and for the last 65+ years, the entry level Part 97 exam has had NO APPLICATION FEES associated with it.

    Suddenly, and with no justification (the FCC has no idea what the cost is to process an application--they have no handle on the indirect costs, for example), there is a very real fixed fee for beginner's to apply for a Part 97 license....

    The present $50 (nearly) universal fee would penalize those who may not afford it, or are discouraged from pursuing ham radio from the cost.

    As pointed out elsewhere, you can get a new HT for less than $25. But the fee will be twice that.

    Having a fee is fine, but not anticipating and allowing for exemptions is contrary to the mission objectives of Part 97.

    Chip W1YW
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
    WZ7U likes this.
  4. K5TUE

    K5TUE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Fifty bucks, five dollars per year for a 10 year license. Seems reasonable to me....

    I love learning the morse code used to be a 'lid filter' of might help keep some of the riff-raff 'baofeng brigade' 'bout a radio check, whats yer 10-20.....10-4....

    And maybe some operators that might be tempted to take chances with the rules....they might be a bit more careful with a license that cost something rather than a freebie from a box of cracker jacks.
    N3FAA and WN1MB like this.
  5. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    You need to trademark that one! ;)
    KI7HSB and N3FAA like this.
  6. KB8NXO

    KB8NXO Ham Member QRZ Page

    After being directed by the ARRL to post my comment at FCC gov I decided to take a look at the comments. Attached is a screen shot listing comments by author A -Z. I do not see the ARRL. Am I looking in the wrong place or using the wrong author? I don't think so. What to think????

    Attached Files:

  7. K4RZM

    K4RZM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    When I sorted by Filer/Ascending I got 3 pages of A's, so guessing there is a flaw in your search method.
    I haven't found a comment by AARL yet, but they may be commenting under their names instead of as the Org itself.
    I'll leaf thru the listings and let you know if I find anything.
    KG7A/SK2022 likes this.
  8. KB8NXO

    KB8NXO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you. I only have I would share emails exchanged but that might pose a problem for some one and they may then make it my problem. So they are not being posted at this time.

    It "was" my honest belief that this proposal would have fallen under their role as advocate. I can only go by the information I can get. I was saddened by the ARRL's non responsiveness to my query. But my heart has been broken before and I continue on. I can't see this as anything other than a tax on our charity. It certainly will diminish the number of current and future amateur operators and thereby make this country less prepared in case of emergency and visa vie less safe. Thank you for reading and checking into this. Really
    KG7A/SK2022 and N6ATF like this.
  9. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    How about by ARRL? ;)
  10. K4RZM

    K4RZM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The 'Official' position I last saw from the ARRL was that they are reviewing and plan to file petitions in Opposition.
    As you saw there are already over 1000 comments on this new fee, and over 99% are opposed. My statement is among them.
    I'm not familiar enough with the Org to know who their directors are and who's names to be looking for on the filings, but I am confident that they know it is in their best interest to oppose these new fees on behalf of their members, and the amateur radio community.

    KG7A/SK2022 likes this.
  11. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The ARRL tends to wait until the closing date for comments. You might assume they will not recommend the global $50 fee, with no exemptions nor allowance for newbies at a zero charge.

    The FCC really messed up on this one.
    KG7A/SK2022 likes this.
  12. KB8NXO

    KB8NXO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for your keen observation. Show us a screen shot for the ARRL's comment. The fcc gov search is not straight forward as implied. I did find pages of A's listed. If the ARRL plans a comment it is a secret that they were unwilling to share with me. Actually they ignored multiple emails until I told them I could not be associated with them because of their inaccessibility and lack of common courtesy. Faster that I can get a letter delivered locally I had in my mail box their promotional material asking me to renew my membership. I guess, based on my personal experience, the grown-ups have left the building. It is my personal loss.
  13. N4YI

    N4YI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Quote from K3UN
    "On Wednesday, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270 which implements portions of the Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act of 2018 (or RAY BAUM’S Act), which gives the FCC statutory authority to collect application fees. As a part of the Act, the FCC is required to switch from a fee structure mandated by Congress 20 years ago to a new cost-based system. This change will result in some fees being reduced and in some cases, such as the Amateur Radio Service, new fees are being added."

    State the following:
    regulatory fees established under this section shall not be applicable to--
    "(B) an amateur radio operator licensee under part 97
    of the commission's rules (47 CFR part 97); or"

    taken from page 738 of (RAY BAUM’S Act.) (not verbatim) pdf uploaded.

    My experience with the FCC and other federal agencies is;
    They almost always find text that suits them, but never read the next line.
    which usually begins with (EXCEPTIONS)

    Attached Files:

    WZ7U and KG7A/SK2022 like this.
  14. KG7A/SK2022

    KG7A/SK2022 Ham Member QRZ Page

    You may have a point there!!!
  15. KI7HSB

    KI7HSB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yikes! I never thought about it that way... Scary possibility.
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