ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB001 (2000)

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ARLB001 Work begun to revise Amateur Radio examinations

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ARRL Bulletin 1  ARLB001
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 11, 2000
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB001
ARLB001 Work begun to revise Amateur Radio examinations

The nation's Volunteer Examiner Coordinators, including the
ARRL-VEC, now are under the gun to meet the April 15 implementation
date of the FCC's recently announced Amateur Radio restructuring
plan.

The FCC's momentous action on December 30, 1999, reduced the number
of license classes to three and established 5 WPM as the sole Morse
code examination element. More than half of those responding to an
informal poll on the ARRL Web site indicate they plan to upgrade
during 2000. Brisk demand for study materials suggests that many
amateurs will be hitting the books in the coming weeks.

After April 15, 2000, the FCC will only issue Technician, General,
and Amateur Extra class licenses. Novice and Advanced licensees will
retain current operating privileges and may renew indefinitely. The
FCC's new licensing scheme simplifies and shortens the upgrade path
from the ground floor through Amateur Extra. There are fewer written
examinations and total questions. Those wishing HF privileges also
would need to pass the single 5 WPM code test.

The FCC has left it in the hands of VECs to determine the specific
mix and makeup of written examination questions. Current Amateur
Radio study materials remain valid at least until the new rules
become effective in April.

ARRL-VEC Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, says the NCVEC Question Pool
Committee has been meeting by telephone and e-mail to get the
updating process under way. Jahnke said the revised question pools
will be out ''well in advance'' of April 15.

The ARRL Board of Directors is expected to review the FCC Report and
Order and discuss its implications when it meets January 21-22 in
Memphis.

Details of the restructuring plan and a list of frequently asked
questions are available on the ARRL Web site, http://www.arrl.org.
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