ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB034 (2004)

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ARLB034 FCC suspends Amateur Service license grants

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ARRL Bulletin 34  ARLB034
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  November 8, 2004
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB034
ARLB034 FCC suspends Amateur Service license grants

The FCC has stopped issuing Amateur Service license grants while it
attempts to unravel an apparent computer programming glitch. The FCC
posted a public alert on the Universal Licensing System (ULS) site
on November 5. At this point, no one seems to know when the problem
will be fixed.

''The granting of Amateur applications has been temporarily
suspended,'' the FCC announcement says without further explanation.
''We apologize for the inconvenience.'' The Commission has given no
indication when processing might resume, but when it does, the FCC
likely will pull back more than 125 Group D (2x3) amateur call signs
it mistakenly issued out of sequence and grant the applicants new
in-sequence call signs. Although they eventually may be set aside
and replaced, all call signs showing up in the ULS database are
legal to use on the air.

The difficulties began October 28, when the FCC implemented a ULS
software change that caused applications to be processed improperly.
ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ, says
the FCC was forced to halt the processing of amateur applications
after attempts to correct the initial error only seemed to make
things worse. ''The FCC is still trying to get its arms around the
problems,'' he said this week.

The ARRL VEC has been working with personnel in the FCC's licensing
branch to identify where the FCC had been in the call sign
sequences, where it had jumped to and where it was supposed to be.

Jahnke says the problem appears to have affected only Group D call
signs.
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