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FCC TURNS AWAY RESTRUCTURING PETITIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by Guest, Apr 7, 2001.

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  1. Guest

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    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>.
     
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