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ARRL Guide to Filing Comments with FCC

Steps to Submit an Online Filing

Jump to Preparing Your Written Comments | Return to FCC Fees Proposal

(See also PDF version without screen shots)

Step 1

Prepare a document (PDF is strongly recommend
ed, but the system will accept doc, docx, and some other file formats). Include your name and address within the document and save it with a filename and loca tion on your computer where you can find it. When you’re ready to file your comments, go to the FCC filings form from an internet browser on a computer or other online device:

Or, use the FCC Express Comment form to file short, typed-in comments (no document upload) at:

Step 2A

Select the first text box labeled Proceeding(s). Type in 20-270. This is the filing number. Be sure the pop-up box displays the title of the correct proceeding, and select it or press the ENTER (or Return) key.

Step 2B

Once you’ve done this, 20-270 will be highlighted in yellow.

Step 3

Select the box labeled Name(s) of Filer(s). Type your full name and then press the ENTER key. You will need to press ENTER after you’ve typed it in. Once you’ve done this, your name will be highlighted in yellow.

Step 4

Skip the boxes labeled “Law Firm” and “Attorney” (unless applicable). Select the box labeled Primary Contact Email and type your email address. This box will NOT get highlighted. The filer’s email address will not be made public by inserting it here. However, any information you include in your comments, including an email address, will be made public.
Step 5

Select the box labeled Type of Filing and select “Comment” from the dropdown items. It is the first item.
Step 6

Skip the boxes labeled “Report Number,” “Bureau
ID,” and “File Number.”

Step 7A
Move down the list of boxes to
Address of and select “Filer” from the dropdown items, as you are the filer of this comment.

Step 7B

Then, type your address in the boxes labeled Address, City, State (select from dropdown), and ZIP.
Step 8A

Move to the Upload Documents box to upload your pre-written comments. By clicking on the hyperlink inside the box, you will be prompted to upload the document you saved with your comments. Go to the file folder and select the document. Then hit “Open” to upload the document into the FCC system.

Step 8B

If you’ve done it correctly, it should now show the name of the document in blue below the Upload Documents area.

Step 9A

Click on the small Email Confirmation checkbox so that you’ll get a confirmation of your submission. Then click on the blue Continue to review screen. This will allow you to review all the submitted information before you hit the Submit button.

Step 9B

If you are satisfied with your entries, select the Submit button. If not, use the BACK button on your browser to return to the entry page and make any corrections or changes, then continue again to the review screen and submit.

Step 10

There is a delay before your comments will appear on the FCC website. However, if you receive the email confirmation — usually within minutes — the comment has been successfully filed.

Congratulations! You’re done and can exit from the web page.

Preparing Your Written Comments

Here are some points that can be used when preparing your written comments opposing the FCC proposal.

Public Service
Amateurs contribute to the public good. In many areas they provide an emergency communications backbone capability at no taxpayer cost. Consistently we have witnessed storms and natural disasters completely wipe out internet, cellular, and other means of communication. Radio amateurs often fill that void on an unmatched, flexible basis when needed. Recent examples of Amateur Radio Service readiness
and response include the California wildfires and Gulf Coast hurricanes.

A Voluntary, Non-Commercial National Resource
Unlike operators in other FCC licensed services, Amateur Radio Service operators by law — domestic and international — must not use their license for any pecuniary interest. Radio amateurs are prohibited from earning or charging any money for any communications activity. The expenses for their equipment, training, and other activities come out of their own pockets, with no opportunity for reimbursement or payment of any kind.


Amateur radio is a source of significant technological innovation that should be encouraged, not discouraged.

Youth and Education

The United States is experiencing a severe lack of RF engineers and expertise at the very time it is needed by the rapidly growing wireless industries. Amateur radio is helping to meet the deficit, but much more is needed and youngsters (High School and College-aged) are least able to afford licensing fees. RF knowledge and related digital expertise is needed to maintain US leadership in wireless industries. At a minimum, young people (below the age of 26) should be exempt from the proposed license fees.


Amateur radio is self-regulating: (a) Amateur examinations are written and administered by radio amateur volunteers. (b) Examination results and paperwork most often are submitted electronically to the FCC. Electronic submission could be required if there would be a cost savings to the Commission. (c) Amateur radio educational classes are conducted by volunteers who by and large do not charge fees or tuition for teaching. (d) The Amateur Service, in cooperation with the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, has a volunteer corps that monitors the amateur airwaves and has programs that work to prevent their misuse before FCC involvement might be needed. These amateurs also observe non-amateur signals both within amateur spectrum and outside it, and report unusual or suspicious signals.

Additional Suggestions

·       Focus on the positive aspects and value that the Amateur Radio Service offers our nation.

·       Avoid arguing that the fee will “kill” amateur radio. Rather, make pertinent arguments on why the fees would impair the public benefits of the Amateur Radio Service.

·       Avoid ham jargon (QSO, worked, ticket, bird) in your comments, which will not be understood by FCC personnel administering this proposal. The fee proposals cover every FCC license and service across the board and the consideration was directed by Congress.


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