Morse Code Eliminated by FCC

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by AA7BQ, Dec 16, 2006.

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  1. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator QRZ Page


    Washington, D.C. – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Order) that modifies the rules for the Amateur Radio Service by revising the examination requirements for obtaining a General Class or Amateur Extra Class amateur radio operator license and revising the operating privileges for Technician Class licensees. In addition, the Order resolves a petition filed by the American Radio Relay League, Inc. (ARRL) for partial reconsideration of an FCC Order on amateur service rules released on October 10, 2006.

    The current amateur service operator license structure contains three classes of amateur radio operator licenses: Technician Class, General Class, and Amateur Extra Class. General Class and Amateur Extra Class licensees are permitted to operate in Amateur bands below 30 MHz, while the introductory Technician Class licensees are only permitted to operate in bands above 30 MHz. Prior to today’s action, the FCC, in accordance with international radio regulations, required applicants for General Class and Amateur Extra Class operator licenses to pass a five words-per-minute Morse code examination.

    Today’s Order eliminates that requirement for General and Amateur Extra licensees. This change reflects revisions to international radio regulations made at the International Telecommunication Union’s 2003 World Radio Conference (WRC-03), which authorized each country to determine whether to require that individuals demonstrate Morse code proficiency in order to qualify for an amateur radio license with transmitting privileges on frequencies below 30 MHz. This change eliminates an unnecessary regulatory burden that may discourage current amateur radio operators from advancing their skills and participating more fully in the benefits of amateur radio.

    Today’s Order also revises the operating privileges for Technician Class licensees by eliminating a disparity in the operating privileges for the Technician Class and Technician Plus Class licensees. Technician Class licensees are authorized operating privileges on all amateur frequencies above 30 MHz. The Technician Plus Class license, which is an operator license class that existed prior the FCC’s simplification of the amateur license structure in 1999 and was grandfathered after that time, authorized operating privileges on all amateur frequencies above 30 MHz, as well as frequency segments in four HF bands (below 30 MHz) after the successful completion of a Morse code examination. With today’s elimination of the Morse code exam requirements, the FCC concluded that the disparity between the operating privileges of Technician Class licensees and Technician Plus Class licensees should not be retained. Therefore, the FCC, in today’s action, afforded Technician and Technician Plus licensees identical operating privileges.

    Finally, today’s Order resolved a petition filed by the ARRL for partial reconsideration of an FCC Order released on October 10, 2006 (FCC 06-149). In this Order, the FCC authorized amateur stations to transmit voice communications on additional frequencies in certain amateur service bands, including the 75 meter (m) band, which is authorized only for certain wideband voice and image communications. The ARRL argued that the 75 m band should not have been expanded below 3635 kHz, in order to protect automatically controlled digital stations operating in the 3620-3635 kHz portion of the 80 m band. The FCC concluded that these stations can be protected by providing alternate spectrum in the 3585-3600 kHz frequency segment.

    Action by the Commission on December 15, 2006, by Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration. Chairman Martin and Commissioners Copps, Adelstein, Tate, and McDowell.

    For additional information, contact William Cross at (202) 418-0691 or
    WT Docket Nos. 04-140 and 05-235.
    – FCC –

    News and other information about the Federal Communications Commission
    is available at
  2. KE5FRF

    KE5FRF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Me first!!!! [​IMG]
  3. W6FYK

    W6FYK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Finally,common sense shall rule.
    Our NCT,15 year wait is almost over.
  4. N5NTG

    N5NTG Ham Member QRZ Page

    My "extra" wife, Pat AD5BR,  who heads one of the local club's VE teams found this about 3 hours ago. I've been happily sharing it with the various email lists (if nobody beat me to it) and posted to a couple of web sites that I have control over.  

    I predict that starting around the end of January or in February, the VE Teams around the USA better stock up on CSCE and General License testing materials. [​IMG]

    I also predict that radio manufacturers will be having a sale on HF rigs in near future, if stock holds up, or there will be a rise in the cost and scarcity in supply of such.

    But look at the bright side... This ought to make us a larger pool of hams to pull from during emergencies when we need HF operators, if we train them properly.

    Remember: It's not the class of license an Amateur holds, it's the class of the Amateur who holds the license that matters.

    We just need to work on improving the class of Amateurs...

    '73 de Lee N5NTG
    Webmaster for
  5. N8FQ

    N8FQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is gonna be good. Flame on!
  6. AL2O

    AL2O Ham Member QRZ Page

    et tu brute,seen this years ago. gl,73,art
  7. KD5SCF

    KD5SCF Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the words of an old Budweiser commercial...True...True
  8. W4HLK

    W4HLK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Are they saying what I think they are? Code is no longer a part of the test? I can see HF going the way of other bands. [​IMG]
  9. KB8MCZ

    KB8MCZ Guest

  10. NI5W

    NI5W XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    We all knew it was coming sooner or later....sigh...goes to show that amateurs are not listened to at all. 5 wpm is slow.. and a lil code never hurt anyone. Besides, comes through better during bad band conditions
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