ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB035 (1999)

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ARLB035 League urges FCC to expedite restructuring

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ARRL Bulletin 35  ARLB035
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 20, 1999
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB035
ARLB035 League urges FCC to expedite restructuring

The ARRL has urged the FCC to act ''without delay'' on Amateur Radio
restructuring and has suggested that the Commission adopt the
League's restructuring plan as its own in order to speed up the
process. In a letter May 19 to the FCC, the League says that the
state of limbo created by the current FCC Amateur Radio
restructuring proceeding, WT Docket 98-143, is stifling Amateur
Radio's growth, as current and prospective hams await an FCC Report
and Order.

The League asked the FCC to adopt the League's plan in a Report and
Order ''at the earliest possible time.''

The ARRL told the FCC that its comprehensive plan of four license
classes and two Morse code testing tiers--5 WPM and 12 WPM--plus
refarming of the Novice/Technician Plus HF CW subbands ''constitutes
a reasonable middle ground proposal.'' The ARRL's restructuring
proposal formed the core of the League's comments to the FCC on WT
98-143, which the FCC refers to as the Part 97 Biennial Review.

Both the FCC and ARRL proposals would eliminate the Novice and Tech
Plus licenses. The ARRL's letter stressed that ''refarming'' of the
Novice class subbands was ''the most critical portion of the League's
comprehensive plan, or, indeed, of any license restructuring plan
the Commission may adopt.'' The League said refarming was essential
to make room for anticipated additional licensees using SSB HF
subbands. In addition, the League said, refarming ''is absolutely
necessary to preserve and enhance the incentive self-training
program'' and to ensure more efficient use of limited HF allocations.
Under the League's plan, General, Advanced, and Extra class
licensees would get additional HF spectrum for phone operation.

Judging from comments made at the Dayton Hamvention FCC forum by
William Cross, W3TN, of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau, no substantive progress has been made toward formulating
Amateur Service rules changes beyond reading, analyzing, and
tabulating comments. Cross said no decisions had been made on WT
Docket 98-143 as of May 13. The FCC received 2250 comments from the
amateur community in the proceeding.

In its letter, the League took the opportunity to express
appreciation for the support for the Amateur Service by both
Chairman William Kennard and WTB Chief Thomas Sugrue and to thank
the FCC for the renewed enforcement efforts of Compliance and
Information Bureau Chief Richard Lee and CIB Legal Advisor Riley
Hollingsworth, K4ZDH.
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