09 May

FCC Looks to Raise Vanity Call Sign Fees

2008-05-09The FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (NPRM) on May 8 seeking to raise fees for Amateur Radio vanity call signs.  Currently, a vanity call sign costs $11.70 and is good for 10 years; the new fee, if the FCC plan goes through, will go up to $12.30 for 10 years, an increase of $.60.  The FCC is authorized by the Communications Act of 1934 (as amended) to collect vanity call sign fees to recover the costs associated with that program.  The vanity call sign regulatory fee is payable not only when applying for a new vanity call sign, but also upon renewing a vanity call sign for a new term.

30 Oct

Hollingsworth to Stay Put at FCC

2007-10-30The ARRL reports that Riley Hollingsworth, Special Counsel for the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, has decided not to retire; he had announced last week that he would leave the FCC in January 2008.  “After spending the entire weekend thinking about the decision [to retire], it became more and more clear to me that it just isn’t the right decision for me right now.  There are several issues on the table that I want to continue to work through with the amateur community.”

The Enforcement Bureau is the primary organizational unit within the Federal Communications Commission that is responsible for enforcement of provisions of the Communications Act, the Commission’s rules, Commission orders and terms and conditions of station authorizations, as well as enforcement of Amateur Radio rules (Part 97).

24 Oct

FCC’s Riley Hollingsworth to Retire

2007-10-24Riley Hollingsworth, Special Counsel in the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, announced his retirement this week, effective Friday, January 3, 2008.  While his successor has not been named, Hollingsworth was quick to point out that the FCC’s Amateur Radio enforcement program will continue.

Hollingsworth told the ARRL: “After about a year of thinking about the ‘if not now, when?’ question, I decided to retire January 3.  I love working for the FCC and I’ve always had great jobs, but this one involving the Amateur Radio Service has been the most fun and I have enjoyed every day of it.”

11 Mar

Technical Excellence Award: VE7LTD

2007-03-11The Dayton Hamvention’s Technical Excellence Award goes each year to a person who has made an outstanding technical advancement in the field of Amateur Radio.  This year, David Cameron, VE7LTD was named the recipient of the Technical Excellence Award for his work developing the Internet Radio Linking Project (IRLP).

The award announcement said Cameron “was instrumental in development of the software, hardware, and technology” to permit worldwide radio and repeaters linking via the Internet Radio Linking Project.  “His work literally transformed FM repeater communication from a local entity into a worldwide communication network that has been of immense value in emergencies and has helped unite the world’s radio amateurs over the Internet and radio,” the award nomination said.

23 Feb

Amateur Radio Enters A New Era

2007-02-23A new Amateur Radio Service regime now is in place.  The requirement to demonstrate Morse code proficiency to gain HF privileges officially disappeared from the FCC’s Part 97 rules today at 12:01 AM Eastern Time.  At the same time, some 200,000 Technician licensees without Morse code exam credit acquired HF privileges equivalent to those available to Novice licensees.  The League is marking the occasion with a W1AW special event aimed at welcoming newcomers to the HF bands.

24 Jan

Morse Code Requirement Ending

2007-01-24Circle Friday, February 23, on your calendar.  That’s when the current 5 WPM Morse code requirement will officially disappear from the Amateur Radio Service Part 97 rules in accordance with the FCC’s Report and Order (R&O) in the “Morse code proceeding,” WT Docket 05-235.  Beginning on that date, applicants for a General or Amateur Extra class Amateur Radio license no longer will have to demonstrate proficiency in Morse code.  They’ll just have to pass the applicable written examination.  Publication of the new rules in the January 24 Federal Register started a 30-day countdown for the new rules to become effective.