FCC License and Examination File Processing System Getting Back on Track
Something to be thankful for: The FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) electronic batch filing (EBF) system, which has had problems processing VEC license and examination session files since Friday, November 13, is expected to be caught up this week. Granting of applications was delayed as a result of a computer system snafu.
“The backlog of files started processing and generating responses yesterday,” said ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM. “The ARRL VEC staff is cautiously optimistic that our entire backlog of exam sessions and applications will be processed by FCC today and tomorrow.”
Somma said the FCC staff discovered the cause of the EBF system filing problem and has begun to focus its troubleshooting efforts and hopes to have the problem fully resolved soon, to avoid further delays. She also relayed the FCC’s expressed appreciation for the continued patience of those still awaiting license and application grants.
“The EBF system is functioning but may be delayed from time to time when the system halts and FCC has to move files manually to get them to process,” Somma added.
This marked the third time the EBF system has gone down since late September, when the FCC said a process had stopped running on an FCC server.
As of last week, the ARRL VEC had more than 800 applications and nearly 200 exam sessions in the queue waiting for FCC processing. “We transmit the exam sessions to FCC as soon as possible, which is usually 24 to 48 hours from the day received in our office,” Somma said. “We make every effort to process each session quickly and efficiently while following FCC rules. Unless there is missing candidate information or paperwork, we normally aim to send the session to the FCC within a few days, because most of the VEC staff understands what it feels like to wait for your call sign to be issued.”
FCC website maintenance in early September put the ULS and other public applications offline for more than 5 days.