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Author Topic: FCC Dimissess Petitions For Rulemaking  (Read 1054 times)
W3WN
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« on: January 05, 2017, 11:07:11 AM »

In today's FCC digest, the FCC dismisses (by letter) petitions for rulemaking from a James Whedbee KKØB of Gladstone MO and Jeffrey Siegell WB2YRL of Burke VA.

Whedbee wanted the number of license classes reduced. Filed in March 2016.
Siegell wanted Advanced Class licenses to have the same CW privileges as Amateur Extra Class. Filed in July 2016

http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0105/DA-17-11A1.pdf
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WA2ISE
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 11:15:23 AM »


Siegell wanted Advanced Class licenses to have the same CW privileges as Amateur Extra Class.

If you are an Advanced and want Extra CW, just upgrade to Extra...   Grin   "Yeah, but then nobody will know that I passed a 13WPM test".  Well. the FCC database will show your previous license class, and you still have your old license paperwork, or it's in various callbooks...
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WW7KE
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 11:46:20 AM »

I think the day will come when the FCC will finally put the hammer down on the Advanced and Novice classes (I am the former).  I can see them making the remaining Novice licenses unrenewable, expiring at the end of their current terms or 5 years after the rule takes effect, whichever is later.  I can also see them downgrading the remaining Advanced licensees to General.  It won't happen tomorrow, but I won't be surprised if it happens within the next 10 years, as both classes' numbers dwindle.

Giving Generals the current Advanced privileges would ease the pain. Wink Grin
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KS2G
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 01:14:30 PM »

The FCC has made it clear repeatedly that they're not going to do anything to change the current Amateur Radio license structure.

They're fine with it the way it is -- with holders of Novice and Advanced Class tickets able to renew them, upgrade, or let them expire, as they wish.
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W8JPF
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 04:48:35 PM »

I wonder if Whedbee ever operates on the air.  Seems like all he does is file petitions with the FCC; must not have cable or video stores nearby, either.  Wonder if the FCC has the concept of a vexatious petitioner.
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TU es 73 de Joe AA8TA
W3HF
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 06:48:38 PM »

I think the day will come when the FCC will finally put the hammer down on the Advanced and Novice classes (I am the former).  I can see them making the remaining Novice licenses unrenewable, expiring at the end of their current terms or 5 years after the rule takes effect, whichever is later.  I can also see them downgrading the remaining Advanced licensees to General.  It won't happen tomorrow, but I won't be surprised if it happens within the next 10 years, as both classes' numbers dwindle.

Giving Generals the current Advanced privileges would ease the pain. Wink Grin

I'm not sure about that--in fact I seriously doubt it. If you read the FCC's rejection of these two petitions, they point out that while petitions claim that reducing the number of license classes will save money and effort, no one has ever supplied supporting data. It actually costs them nothing to maintain the status quo (since it's an almost completely automated system), while taking any action, even changing Novices to non-renewable, would require action (and cost). And even though there are only 10,000 Novices now, making their licenses non-renewable could trigger a backlash for disenfranchising them that FCC really couldn't defend.

The same is true of downgrading Advanceds, unless (as you point out) the General privileges were extended to the current Advanced level. But while that would protect the ~45,000 current Advanced licensees, it would also give a "free upgrade" to the ~172k General licensees. And as they repeated in today's dismissals, they have no intention of giving anyone a freebie.
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N2EY
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 06:03:20 AM »

I think the day will come when the FCC will finally put the hammer down on the Advanced and Novice classes (I am the former).  I can see them making the remaining Novice licenses unrenewable, expiring at the end of their current terms or 5 years after the rule takes effect, whichever is later.  I can also see them downgrading the remaining Advanced licensees to General.  It won't happen tomorrow, but I won't be surprised if it happens within the next 10 years, as both classes' numbers dwindle.

Giving Generals the current Advanced privileges would ease the pain. Wink Grin

Not going to happen. W3HF is right.

The Novice and Advanced classes will disappear by attrition with no effort on the part of FCC. It costs them nothing to keep things as they are. Why should they change things at all?

When the Novice and Advanced were closed to new issues in April 2000, there were about 50,000 Novices and 100,000 Advanceds, out of about 675,000 total licenses. In the approximately 17 years since then, Novices have declined to just under 10,000 and Advanced to just under 45,000 - out of over 742,000 total.

See the "FCC License Counts" thread for details of the historic decline in numbers...

73 de Jim, N2EY
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N0IU
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2017, 04:55:04 AM »

"Yeah, but then nobody will know that I passed a 13WPM test".

So what? When I am on the air using CW in a contest or in a QSO at 30-35 wpm, NO ONE is going to care or even wonder if I passed a 13 wpm code test at some point in the distant past. (Which I did in July 1995 - by turning in a copy sheet with 65 characters in a row! Are you impressed now?) It seems that the only Advanced's who worry about this are the ones who don't use CW.

Besides, it was a much bigger deal to me to have passed the Advanced written test (Which I did later in July 1995 - I was only a General for 15 days.) which was, at the time, the mother of all written tests!  Grin

I didn't get into amateur radio to get almost all the way to the top! Who would be impressed by that?
« Last Edit: January 15, 2017, 05:04:30 AM by N0IU » Logged
ND6M
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2017, 11:03:54 AM »

...I'm not sure about that--in fact I seriously doubt it. If you read the FCC's rejection of these two petitions, they point out that while petitions claim that reducing the number of license classes will save money and effort, no one has ever supplied supporting data.....

Gee, I dunno about that.

The FCC certainly has data about eliminating the TECH PLUS license a few years ago.

All the Advance class licensees, that like to talk about having a piece of paper concerning CW, seem to forget that the (lowly) TECH PLUS licensees also had a paper that said the same thing. Shocked Shocked
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N0IU
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2017, 11:33:34 AM »

All the Advance class licensees, that like to talk about having a piece of paper concerning CW, seem to forget that the (lowly) TECH PLUS licensees also had a paper that said the same thing. Shocked Shocked

Well I know that was supposed to be "tongue in cheek", but it is not completely accurate. The FCC created the No Code Tech class in 1991. I became a Tech Plus in 1992 but my license only said Technician on it. There was no ULS database back then, but QRZ has an archive of their 1993 database (https://www.qrz.com/db1993/) and that shows me as a (lowly) Technician. The only piece of paper showing that I passed the 5 wpm code test is the CSCE I received, not the actual license.
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K7MEM
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2017, 12:56:30 PM »

If you are an Advanced and want Extra CW, just upgrade to Extra...   Grin   "Yeah, but then nobody will know that I passed a 13WPM test".  Well. the FCC database will show your previous license class, and you still have your old license paperwork, or it's in various callbooks...

That's only partially correct, because the FCC database does not tell the whole story. If you look up my call sign, in the FCC database, it will show that my previous license class was Advanced. But there is no indication as to when that happened or, how long I had an Advanced class license.

I only had an Advanced class license because of the delays in licensing, prior to the year 2000. When I tested, I took the Advanced and Extra written exam, and the 20 WPM Morse test (100% copy), at the same testing session. But at the time, tests were evaluated sequentially. So after a few weeks, I received my Advanced class license in the mail. Several weeks later, I finally received my Extra class license. I have the CSCEs to prove it, but it won't show in the database.

Currently, they have streamlined the processing. If you take all three tests, in the same test session, only the last one, Extra, will show up in the FCC data base.
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