From the ARRL... The FCC has declined to make any significant changes to the way it implemented Amateur Radio "restructuring" last April. The Commission has turned down several requests for changes in the Amateur Service rules contained in five petitions for partial reconsideration of its Report and Order WT Docket 98-143, released December 30, 1999. The ARRL was among the petitioners. In a Memorandum Opinion and Order released April 6, the FCC by and large denied all petitions for changes to its restructuring Order--although it did claim to grant one ARRL request--and it made some minor housekeeping changes to the amateur rules. Among the issues was a request from the ARRL and other petitioners that the FCC continue to maintain records that indicate whether a Technician licensee has Morse code element credit. The FCC noted that its current Universal Licensing System software was modified to display a "P" (for Plus) in the field that indicates former license class when a Technician Plus class license is renewed. "This capability results in the amateur service database being able to provide a de facto Technician Plus licensee database," the FCC asserted in its MO&O. The FCC did not address how its database will distinguish current Technician licensees who subsequently earn Morse code (Element 1) credit. Those licensees have only a Certificate of Completion of Examination (CSCE), which will never be reflected in the database, even upon license renewal. The FCC also decided to not extend Element 1 credit to all past licensees who had ever earned it--something else the ARRL had asked for. Under current rules, the holder of an expired Novice or a pre-February 14, 1991, Technician license can get Element 1 credit. The FCC said that "most examinees" who ever held a General, Advanced or Amateur Extra ticket also once held a Novice or a pre-February 14, 1991, Technician ticket that grants Element 1 credit. Left out in the cold by the FCC's decision is anyone who went directly to Conditional or General class without ever holding a Novice ticket. The FCC also declined to extend permanent credit to Element 1 CSCEs held by Technicians to obtain HF privileges. These CSCEs are good for 365 days for upgrading purposes but confer only additional operating privileges for Technicians beyond that time. The FCC refused to reinstate the 20 WPM Morse code exam for Extra. The FCC said that since restructuring went into effect nearly a year ago, "there does not appear to be any decline in the proper operation of amateur stations." The FCC also declined to ban the practice of allowing applicants to retake a failed examination element at a single test session simply by paying a second fee to the VE team. And the Commission did not go along with requests to set the total number of questions at 50 for the Technician and General class test and at 100 for the Amateur Extra test. The FCC also declined to make any changes--at least for now--in the arrangement of mode-related Amateur Radio subbands, as some petitioners had requested. The FCC said it believed it should let the amateur community "reach a consensus regarding a comprehensive restructuring of operating privileges for all licensees" before making any changes. Also denied were requests to: institute a new entry-level Communicator license class in the Amateur Service; elevate former "Class A" operators licensed prior to 1951 to Amateur Extra, instead of leaving them at Advanced class; give Element 4 exam credit to examinees who'd held a Conditional, General or Advanced ticket before November 22, 1968--when "incentive licensing" became effective. The FCC MO&O is available at <A HREF="http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/wt98-143-recon.pdf"> http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/wt98-143-recon.pdf</A>.