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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB014 (2014)

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ARLB014 Changes to Amateur Service Part 97 Rules Go Into Effect on
July 21

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ARRL Bulletin 14  ARLB014
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  June 23, 2014
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB014
ARLB014 Changes to Amateur Service Part 97 Rules Go Into Effect on
July 21

The FCC's recently announced revisions to the Part 97 Amateur Radio
rules governing exam credit to former licensees, test
administration, and emission types will go into effect on Monday,
July 21. The new rules were published in The Federal Register on
June 20.

In a wide-ranging Report and Order (R&O) released June 9, the
Commission announced that it would grant examination credit for
written elements 3 (General) and 4 (Amateur Extra) to holders of
"expired licenses that required passage of those elements." The FCC
will require former licensees falling outside the 2-year grace
period to pass Element 2 (Technician) in order to be relicensed. The
Commission declined to give exam credit to holders of expired
Certificates of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCEs) or to
extend lifetime validity to CSCEs.  The R&O can be found on the web
in PDF format at,
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0609/FCC-14-74A1.pdf
.

The FCC also embraced the use of remote testing methods, allowing
volunteer examiners and volunteer examiner coordinators "the option
of administering examinations at locations remote from the VEs." The
National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) in
2002 endorsed experimental use of videoconferencing technology to
conduct Amateur Radio testing in remote areas of Alaska. The
Commission dropped its earlier proposal to permit two VEs to
administer exams; the requirement remains at three VEs. The
Commission did not spell out the "mechanics" of remote testing,
however, which it said would "vary from location to location and
session to session." VEs administering examinations remotely must
grade such examinations "at the earliest practical opportunity,"
rather than "immediately," as the current rule for conventional exam
sessions requires.

The FCC also adopted an ARRL proposal to authorize certain Time
Division Multiple Access (TDMA) emissions in the Amateur Service.
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau in 2013 granted an ARRL
request for a temporary blanket waiver to permit radio amateurs to
transmit emissions with designators FXD, FXE, and F7E, pending
resolution of the rulemaking petition. That waiver becomes permanent
on July 21.

The Commission also made "certain minor, non-substantive amendments"
and corrections to the Amateur Service rules.
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