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ARRL Board Lauds 'Unforgettable Milestone,' Formalizes Lotw Policy:

from The ARRL Letter on August 7, 2014
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ARRL Board Lauds 'Unforgettable Milestone,' Formalizes Lotw Policy:

The ARRL Board of Directors dealt with a variety of matters when it met in Hartford, Connecticut, on July 21 and 22. ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, chaired the session. Reflecting the afterglow of the ARRL National Centennial Convention that concluded a couple of days earlier, the Board commended and thanked the ARRL staff and Convention volunteers for "their devotion and service, contributing to a truly memorable celebration of this unforgettable milestone in the life of the ARRL." The resolution took note of the "countless" hours staffers spent, in addition to their routine responsibilities, preparing for and running the convention. The Board also cited the essential role of "many dedicated volunteers" before, during and after the convention.

Emergency Communications

Citing the inspiring Convention Banquet speech by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, KK4INZ, the Board resolved to reaffirm its "commitment and desire to further improve and enhance Amateur Radio's participation and standing in emergency communications for the benefit of the nation's emergency response agencies and the American public." During the convention, the ARRL and FEMA signed a Memorandum of Agreement that, the resolution said, would "strengthen FEMA's partnership with ARRL and build upon our work to expand emergency communications capabilities and the use of Amateur Radio in emergency management."

Logbook of The World

The Board adopted an updated policy for the League's popular Logbook of The World (LoTW service. The new statement largely formalizes long-standing and existing policies and procedures. To maintain LoTW's security, the policy states that in the event a call sign certificate is shown to have been compromised, "all contacts submitted with that call sign certificate will be removed from LoTW, all confirmations generated by those contacts will be invalidated, and all award credit generated by those confirmations will be revoked." LoTW users who allow their certificates to be compromised or who "knowingly exploit" compromised certificates may lose the privilege of using LoTW and participating in ARRL awards programs.

"The integrity of LoTW must support the prestige of those awards that depend on it, such as DXCC," the policy states. "The goals of 'ease of enrollment' and 'ease of use' must be balanced against the requirement of maintaining an extremely high level of integrity."

The policy calls on ARRL's Information Technology Department "to keep the processing queue as short as possible," but added that speedy processing is secondary to LoTW's primary goal of authenticating contacts and that LoTW "is not guaranteed to be a 24/7 application."

The policy says that while fees currently are only required when contact credits are redeemed toward supported awards, "Premium services may be developed for LoTW which would require user fees."

Also related to operating awards, the Board agreed to modify some DXCC Rules to clarify the appointment procedure and eligibility of DXCC card checkers.

Referred to Committee

The Programs and Services Committee (P&SC) is to closely examine the issue of remotely controlled stations, noting that these "pose both opportunities and challenges." The P&SC would "consider the possible advantages, disadvantages, and any potential ethical issues as they relate strictly to the DXCC program" and report its findings by the Board's January 2015 Annual Meeting.

The Executive Committee is to study the possibility of seeking limited RTTY/data privileges for Technician licensees on 80, 40, and 15 meters.

Other Business

In other business, the ARRL Board of Directors:

- voted, without offering specifics, to support "a significant increase in the resources directed to generating new amateurs, with particular emphasis on increasing diversity." The ARRL staff was directed to propose a course of action to meet that goal.

- voted to have ARRL staff work with the Programs & Services Committee to design and implement a web-based reporting system to gather information on activities performed by Field Organization volunteers.

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The ARRL Letter

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