ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB019 (2013)

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ARLB019 Pending Amateur Service Rule Changes Are Not on Back Burner,
FCC Assures VECs

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ARRL Bulletin 19  ARLB019
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  August 22, 2013
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB019
ARLB019 Pending Amateur Service Rule Changes Are Not on Back Burner,
FCC Assures VECs

Speaking in late July at the 28th annual National Conference of
Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) meeting, Bill Cross, W3TN,
of the FCC's Mobility Division within the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), assured attendees that pending
proposals to modify the Amateur Service Part 97 rules are not on the
back burner but still under review. FCC personnel addressing the
teleconference were unable, however, to predict when the Commission
would take action on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order
(NPRM) in WT Docket 12-283. The NPRM can be found on the web in PDF
format at,
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-12-121A1.pdf.

Among the FCC proposals: Granting exam credit for expired and
beyond-the grace-period licenses; shortening the grace period during
which an expired ham ticket may be renewed; correspondingly revising
the time a call sign remains unavailable to vanity applicants; and
reducing the number of volunteer examiners needed to administer
examinations. The docket also seeks comment on amending the rules to
permit remote test administration and proposes allowing Amateur
Radio stations to transmit certain emission types.

FCC Program Analyst Rebecca Williams of the FCC's Gettysburg Office
told meeting participants that the FCC will not remove or conceal a
licensee's name or address from its public database. She said she's
received numerous complaints from licensees about their information
being public. According to §97.23, licensees must provide a valid
mailing address, but as Williams pointed out, that can be any US
address where the licensee can receive mail, such as a work address
or a post office box. Licensees can protect their privacy and remain
within the rules, she said.

She also reminded her audience that since February 14, 2011, a radio
amateur can serve as a trustee for only a single club and may not
also be a club license trustee for another club. The rules further
prohibit clubs from having more than one vanity call sign. Amateurs
who served as trustees for more than one club, and clubs holding
more than one vanity call sign before the change may continue to do
so, she said.

NCVEC Chair Larry Pollock, NB5X, presided over the teleconference.
ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, Assistant Manager Perry Green,
WY1O, and Regulatory Information Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND,
represented the ARRL VEC for the session. Representatives from 12 of
the nation's 14 VECs took part in the meeting.

NCVEC Question Pool Committee (QPC) Chair Roland Anders, K3RA, told
the gathering that the QPC has been working to update the Technician
question pool. The new Tech question pool will go into effect next
July 1. Anders said the QPC has been reviewing the entire question
pool with a goal of fixing and removing outdated or poorly worded
questions and to develop questions as new technology is introduced.
He said the most difficult part of the job is coming up with
distractors - incorrect answers - for the multiple-choice exams that
are reasonable but also absolutely incorrect.

The gathering re-elected by acclamation the current leadership
slate, including Pollock, who will serve a fifth term as chair.
Other officers are Vice Chair Mark Erbaugh, N8ME; Treasurer Willard
Sitton, W4HZD; Assistant to the Treasurer Ray Adams, W4CPA;
Secretary and Custodian of Records Michele Cimbala, WK3X, and
Assistant to the Custodian of Records Gene Wright, WA6ZRT. The rules
reporter position remains vacant.
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