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FCC Denies California Ham’s Petition Regarding Vanity Call Sign

08/08/2012

Two years after Marvin Gin, W6VM, passed away on January 13, 2010, his call sign became available in the FCC’s vanity call sign system and eligible for reassignment to those radio amateurs who hold an Amateur Extra class license. According to the FCC, Mario Vesnaver, W6EX, of Laguna Niguel, California, Steven Greathouse, AC6EA, of Akron, Ohio, and others “filed timely applications requesting modification of [their] amateur licenses to reflect call sign W6VM.” Greathouse’s application was randomly selected and granted on February 4, 2012.

According to paragraph 32 in a 2006 Report and Order (WT Docket 04-140), whenever the FCC receives an application from more than one amateur on the same day requesting a vanity call sign, the FCC uses a lottery mechanism to select the first application to be processed. Via this method, Greathouse’s application was the first one selected and he received W6VM.

Vesnaver filed a Petition for Reconsideration with the FCC, requesting that the Commission review its decision regarding its assignment of W6VM. “When an amateur is initially licensed, the Commission assigns the station the next available call sign based on the licensee’s geographic region and license class [as affirmed in WT Docket 09-209]” the FCC stated in denying Vesnaver’s Petition. “You argue that Mr Greathouse’s application should not have been granted because, at the time he requested call sign W6VM, he lived in Ohio, which is in the sequential call sign system’s 8th call sign district.”

The FCC stated that when it adopted the rules for the vanity call sign system, it addressed whether a vanity call sign applicant should be limited to requesting only those call signs for the region where the licensee resides. The FCC chose not adopt such a restriction, noting in PR Docket 93-305 that “‘the applicant's choice of vanity call signs would be reduced to ten percent or less of the call signs that would otherwise be assignable to the station. A limitation based upon the person's place of residence, moreover, could easily be circumvented by using a mailing address in another call sign region.’ Other than a call sign in Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean Insular Areas and the Pacific Insular areas, the licensee of an amateur station with a mailing address in the United States may apply for any available call sign corresponding to an appropriate license class.”

Based upon its procedures, the FCC concluded that its assignment of W6VM was “proper” and denied Vesnaver’s Petition.



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