• ARRL Regular Bulletin

    From Daryl Stout@618:250/33 to All on Thu Dec 31 18:03:44 2020
    SB QST @ ARL $ARLB041
    ARLB041 FCC Reduces Proposed Amateur Radio Application Fee to $35

    ZCZC AG41
    QST de W1AW
    ARRL Bulletin 41 ARLB041
    From ARRL Headquarters
    Newington CT December 31, 2020
    To all radio amateurs

    SB QST ARL ARLB041
    ARLB041 FCC Reduces Proposed Amateur Radio Application Fee to $35

    The FCC has agreed with ARRL and other commenters that its proposed
    $50 fee for certain amateur radio applications was "too high to
    account for the minimal staff involvement in these applications."

    In a Report and Order (R&O), released on December 29, the FCC scaled
    back to $35 the fee for a new license application, a special
    temporary authority (STA) request, a rule waiver request, a license
    renewal application, and a vanity call sign application. All fees
    are per application. There will be no fee for administrative
    updates, such as a change of mailing or email address.

    The R&O can be found online in PDF format at, https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-20-184A1.pdf .

    This fall, ARRL filed comments in firm opposition to the FCC
    proposal to impose a $50 fee on amateur radio license and
    application fees and urged its members to follow suit.

    As the FCC noted in its R&O, although some commenters supported the
    proposed $50 fee as reasonable and fair, "ARRL and many individual
    commenters argued that there was no cost-based justification for
    application fees in the Amateur Radio Service." The fee proposal was
    contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket
    20-270, which was adopted to implement portions of the "Repack
    Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act" of
    2018 - the so-called "Ray Baum's Act."

    Information on Ray Baum's Act can be found online in PDF format at, https://www.congress.gov/115/plaws/publ141/PLAW-115publ141.pdf .

    "After reviewing the record, including the extensive comments filed
    by amateur radio licensees and based on our revised analysis of the
    cost of processing mostly automated processes discussed in our
    methodology section, we adopt a $35 application fee, a lower
    application fee than the Commission proposed in the NPRM for
    personal licenses, in recognition of the fact that the application
    process is mostly automated," the FCC said in the R&O. "We adopt the
    proposal from the NPRM to assess no additional application fee for
    minor modifications or administrative updates, which also are highly automated."

    The FCC said it received more than 197,000 personal license
    applications in 2019, which includes not only ham radio license
    applications but commercial radio operator licenses and General
    Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) licenses.

    The FCC turned away the arguments of some commenters that the FCC
    should exempt amateur radio licensees. The FCC stated that it has no
    authority to create an exemption "where none presently exists."

    The FCC also disagreed with those who argued that amateur radio
    licensees should be exempt from fees because of their public service contribution during emergencies and disasters.

    "[W]e are very much aware of these laudable and important services
    amateur radio licensees provide to the American public," the FCC
    said, but noted that specific exemptions provided under Section 8 of
    the so-called "Ray Baum's Act" requiring the FCC to assess the fees
    do not apply to amateur radio personal licenses. "Emergency
    communications, for example, are voluntary and are not required by
    our rules," the FCC noted. "As we have noted previously, '[w]hile
    the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary
    noncommercial communications service, particularly with respect to
    providing emergency communications, is one of the underlying
    principles of the amateur service, the amateur service is not an
    emergency radio service.'"

    The Act requires that the FCC switch from a Congressionally-mandated
    fee structure to a cost-based system of assessment. The FCC proposed application fees for a broad range of services that use the FCC's
    Universal Licensing System (ULS), including the Amateur Radio
    Service, which had been excluded previously. The 2018 statute
    excludes the Amateur Service from annual regulatory fees, but not
    from application fees.

    "While the Ray Baum's Act amended Section 9 and retained the
    regulatory fee exemption for amateur radio station licensees,
    Congress did not include a comparable exemption among the amendments
    it made to Section 8 of the Act," the FCC R&O explained.

    The effective date of the fee schedule has not been established, but
    it will be announced at least 30 days in advance. The FCC has
    directed the Office of Managing Director, in consultation with
    relevant offices and bureaus, to draft a notice for publication in
    the Federal Register announcing when rule change(s) will become
    effective, "once the relevant databases, guides, and internal
    procedures have been updated."
    NNNN
    /EX
    --- SBBSecho 3.11-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (618:250/33)
  • From Daryl Stout@618:250/33 to All on Mon Jan 4 17:57:25 2021
    SB QST @ ARL $ARLB001
    ARLB001 W1AW 2021 Winter Operating Schedule

    ZCZC AG01
    QST de W1AW
    ARRL Bulletin 1 ARLB001
    From ARRL Headquarters
    Newington CT January 4, 2021
    To all radio amateurs

    SB QST ARL ARLB001
    ARLB001 W1AW 2021 Winter Operating Schedule

    Morning Schedule:

    Time Mode Days
    ------------------- ---- ---------
    1400 UTC (9 AM EST) CWs Wed, Fri
    1400 UTC (9 AM EST) CWf Tue, Thu

    Daily Visitor Operating Hours:

    1500 UTC to 1700 UTC - (10 AM to 12 PM EST)
    1800 UTC to 2045 UTC - (1 PM to 3:45 PM EST)

    (Station closed 1700 to 1800 UTC (12 PM to 1 PM EST))

    Afternoon/Evening Schedule:

    2100 UTC (4 PM EST) CWf Mon, Wed, Fri
    2100 " " CWs Tue, Thu
    2200 " (5 PM EST) CWb Daily
    2300 " (6 PM EST) DIGITAL Daily
    0000 " (7 PM EST) CWs Mon, Wed, Fri
    0000 " " CWf Tue, Thu
    0100 " (8 PM EST) CWb Daily
    0200 " (9 PM EST) DIGITAL Daily
    0245 " (9:45 PM EST) VOICE Daily
    0300 " (10 PM EST) CWf Mon, Wed, Fri
    0300 " " CWs Tue, Thu
    0400 " (11 PM EST) CWb Daily


    Frequencies (MHz)
    -----------------
    CW: 1.8025 3.5815 7.0475 14.0475 18.0975 21.0675 28.0675 50.350 147.555 DIGITAL: - 3.5975 7.095 14.095 18.1025 21.095 28.095 50.350 147.555
    VOICE: 1.855 3.990 7.290 14.290 18.160 21.390 28.590 50.350 147.555

    Notes:

    CWs = Morse Code practice (slow) = 5, 7.5, 10, 13 and 15 WPM
    CWf = Morse Code practice (fast) = 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 13 and 10 WPM
    CWb = Morse Code Bulletins = 18 WPM

    CW frequencies include code practices, Qualifying Runs and CW
    bulletins.

    DIGITAL = BAUDOT (45.45 baud), BPSK31 and MFSK16 in a revolving
    schedule.

    Code practice texts are from QST, and the source of each practice is
    given at the beginning of each practice and at the beginning of
    alternate speeds.

    On Tuesdays and Fridays at 2330 UTC (6:30 PM EST), Keplerian
    Elements for active amateur satellites are sent on the regular
    digital frequencies.

    A DX bulletin replaces or is added to the regular bulletins between
    0100 UTC (8 PM EST) Thursdays and 0100 UTC (8 PM EST) Fridays.

    Audio from W1AW's CW code practices, CW/digital bulletins and phone
    bulletin is available using EchoLink via the W1AW Conference Server
    named "W1AWBDCT." The monthly W1AW Qualifying Runs are presented
    here as well. The audio is sent in real-time and runs concurrently
    with W1AW's regular transmission schedule.

    All users who connect to the conference server are muted. Please
    note that any questions or comments about this server should not be
    sent via the "Text" window in EchoLink. Please direct any questions
    or comments to w1aw@arrl.org .

    In a communications emergency, monitor W1AW for special bulletins as
    follows: Voice on the hour, Digital at 15 minutes past the hour, and
    CW on the half hour.

    All licensed amateurs may operate the station from 1500 UTC to 1700
    UTC (10 AM to 12 PM EST), and then from 1800 UTC to 2045 UTC (1 PM
    to 3:45 PM EST) Monday through Friday. Be sure to bring a reference
    copy of your current FCC amateur radio license.

    The weekly W1AW and monthly West Coast Qualifying Runs are sent on
    the normal CW frequencies used for both code practice and bulletin transmissions. West Coast Qualifying Run stations may also use 3590
    kHz.

    Please note that because of current COVID-19 restrictions, W1AW is
    not open for visitor operations at this time.

    The W1AW Operating Schedule may also be found on page 85 in the
    January 2021 issue of QST or on the web at, http://www.arrl.org/w1aw-operating-schedule .
    NNNN
    /EX
    --- SBBSecho 3.11-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (618:250/33)
  • From Daryl Stout@618:250/33 to All on Mon Jan 4 17:57:36 2021
    SB QST @ ARL $ARLB002
    ARLB002 FCC to Require Email Address on Applications Starting on
    June 29, 2021

    ZCZC AG02
    QST de W1AW
    ARRL Bulletin 2 ARLB002
    From ARRL Headquarters
    Newington CT January 4, 2021
    To all radio amateurs

    SB QST ARL ARLB002
    ARLB002 FCC to Require Email Address on Applications Starting on
    June 29, 2021

    Effective on June 29, 2021, amateur radio licensees and candidates
    must provide the FCC with an email address on all applications. If
    no email address is included, the FCC may dismiss the application as "defective."

    On September 16, the FCC adopted a Report and Order (R&O) in WT
    Docket 19-212 on "Completing the Transition to Electronic Filing,
    Licenses and Authorizations, and Correspondence in the Wireless
    Radio Services." The R&O was published on December 29 in the Federal
    Register. The FCC has already begun strongly encouraging applicants
    to provide an email address. Once an email address is provided, the
    FCC will email a link to an official electronic copy of the license
    grant. An official copy will also be available at any time by
    accessing the licensee's password-protected Universal Licensing
    System (ULS) account.

    The R&O is available online in PDF format at, https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-electronic-licensing-report-and-order
    .

    Licensees can log into the ULS License Manager System with their FRN
    and password at any time and update anything in their FCC license
    record, including adding an email address. For questions or password
    issues, call the CORES/FRN Help Line, (877) 480-3201 (Monday -
    Friday, 1300 - 2300 UTC) or reset the password on the FCC website.

    The only way to refrain from providing an email address on an
    application would be to submit a request to waive the new rule,
    providing justification for the request. (The FCC would not be
    obliged to grant such a request.)

    Under Section 97.21 of the new rules, a person holding a valid
    amateur radio station license "must apply to the FCC for a
    modification of the license grant as necessary to show the correct
    mailing and email address, licensee name, club name, license trustee
    name, or license custodian name." For a club or military recreation
    station license, the application must be presented in document form
    to a club station call sign administrator who must submit the
    information to the FCC in an electronic batch file.

    Under new Section 97.23, each license must show the grantee's
    correct name, mailing address, and email address. "The email address
    must be an address where the grantee can receive electronic
    correspondence," the amended rule will state. "Revocation of the
    station license or suspension of the operator license may result
    when correspondence from the FCC is returned as undeliverable
    because the grantee failed to provide the correct email address."
    NNNN
    /EX
    --- SBBSecho 3.11-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (618:250/33)
  • From Daryl Stout@618:250/33 to All on Fri Jan 8 17:54:24 2021
    SB QST @ ARL $ARLB003
    ARLB003 FCC Invites Comments on Expanding the Number of Volunteer
    Examiner Coordinators

    ZCZC AG03
    QST de W1AW
    ARRL Bulletin 3 ARLB003
    From ARRL Headquarters
    Newington CT January 8, 2021
    To all radio amateurs

    SB QST ARL ARLB003
    ARLB003 FCC Invites Comments on Expanding the Number of Volunteer
    Examiner Coordinators

    In a January 5 Public Notice, the FCC requested comments on whether
    the current 14 Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) are sufficient
    to facilitate the efforts of their accredited Volunteer Examiners
    (VEs) in administering amateur radio examinations. The ARRL VEC is
    the largest of the 14 VECs in the US. Comments are due by February
    5, and reply comments are due by February 19. After Congress
    authorized it to do so, the FCC adopted rules in 1983 to allow
    volunteers to prepare and administer amateur radio examinations, and
    it established the system of VECs and VEs.

    The Public Notice can be found online in PDF format at, https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-9A1.pdf .

    "VECs introduced consistency into the volunteer examiner program by centralizing accreditation of volunteer examiners, coordinating the
    dates and times for scheduling examinations, and managing the
    various administrative tasks arising from examinations," the FCC
    said. Authorized VECs may operate in any of the 13 VEC regions but
    must service at least one region. The FCC pointed out that some VECs
    now offer remote examinations.

    "The Commission has long maintained 14 VECs and now seeks to
    consider whether they continue to serve the evolving needs of the
    amateur community, or whether there are unmet needs that warrant
    considering expanding the number of VECs."

    The FCC Public Notice provided questions for framing comments:

    * Are the existing 14 VECs sufficient to coordinate the efforts of
    Volunteer Examiners in preparing and administering examinations for
    amateur radio operator licenses, or are additional VECs needed?

    * What needs are currently being met, and which needs, if any, are
    not?

    * If the FCC were to allow additional VECs, how many more would be
    needed to satisfy existing Amateur Radio Service license examination
    needs? (The FCC indicated that it will likely cap the number of
    additional VECs at five.)

    * Given that VECs use a collaborative process to create examination
    question pools and volunteer examination administration protocols,
    would additional VECs enhance or hinder this process?

    * How would increasing the number of VECs address the unmet needs,
    if any, of the amateur radio community, and what obstacles or
    complications could result from increasing the number of VECs?

    Interested parties may file short comments on WT Docket No. 21-2 via
    the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing Service (Express) at, https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express .

    Visit the FCC's "How to Comment on FCC Proceedings" page for
    information on filing extended comments at, https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/how-comment .
    NNNN
    /EX
    --- SBBSecho 3.11-Win32
    * Origin: The Thunderbolt BBS - tbolt.synchro.net (618:250/33)