ARRL General Bulletin ARLB061 (2003)

ARLB061 FCC invites comments on additional Morse code-related 

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 61  ARLB061
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  October 9, 2003
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB061 FCC invites comments on additional Morse code-related 

The FCC has invited public comment on a second group of seven
Morse-related petitions for rulemaking, which went on public notice
October 8. Comments are due by November 7. Members of the amateur
community may make their opinions known on any or all of these
filings using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS),
located on the web at,

Charles L. Young Jr, AG4YO, asks the FCC to delete the 5 WPM Morse
code test (Element 1) for Technician-plus-Element 1 privileges
(formerly ''Tech Plus''). Designated RM-10805, his petition would
retain Element 1 as an examination requirement for General and
Amateur Extra applicants and give Technicians limited HF SSB

Describing CW as ''the purest, most accurate, efficient, reliable and
economical form of radio communications ever devised,'' Frank
Napurano, K2OKA, requests that the FCC retain the 5 WPM Morse
requirement ''in the interest of public safety, the preservation of a
radio art and as a tribute of support for a prized and respected
avocation.'' The FCC designated his filing as RM-10806.

A petition by Robert G. Rightsell, AE4FA and Harry A.M. Kholer,
N0PU, designated RM-10807, would continue Morse testing but give
applicants up to 24 points of exam credit according to their success
on Element 1. The final exam score would be the sum of earned
Element 1 points and the written test score for a possible total of
100 points. Their petition also calls on the FCC to consolidate the
Novice and Technician and the Advanced and Amateur Extra licenses,
boost the number and range of written test questions and give new
Technicians CW and data privileges.

Joseph Speroni, AH0A, seeks to have the FCC delete Element 1 for
applicants who want to operate phone on HF but retain Element 1 at 5
WPM for applicants who want to operate CW. Designated RM-10808, his
petition would restructure the Amateur Radio testing regime to
require specific knowledge of ''RTTY, data, image, spread spectrum,
pulse/test, RACES/ARES and space communications only for those
wishing to operate these modes.'' Under Speroni's plan, applicants
would be under no obligation to pass mode-specific examination
elements for mode privileges they don't wish to operate.

The Puerto Rico Amateur Radio League (PRARL) asks the FCC to delete
Element 1 for Technician and General classes but to increase the
rigor of the written elements for those two license classes. The
PRARL would keep the 5 WPM Morse exam for Extra applicants. The
PRARL also would eliminate same-session retesting and require 30
days between retakes. It's petition is designated RM-10809.

James Roux, W4YA, proposes in his petition, designated RM-10810,
that the FCC cut the number of license classes to two--General and
Amateur Extra--and the number of written examination elements to
one--at the General level. Roux's petition would eliminate the 5 WPM
Morse code exam for General but require Extra applicants to pass a
15 WPM test. Roux also would give Generals all currently available
amateur privileges except the Extra-class CW subbands.

A petition filed on behalf of FISTS CW Club would delete the
requirement to pass Element 1 to obtain Technician plus Element 1
(ie, ''Tech Plus'') HF privileges. Designated RM-10811, it would merge
Tech and Tech Plus into a single class, emphasize technical content,
including digital modes, on written examinations and extend digital
mode privileges within Novice/Tech Plus subbands.  It would not
provide additional HF phone privileges for Technicians, however. The
FISTS petition would retain a 5 WPM Morse exam for General
applicants and raise the Morse exam to 12 WPM for Amateur Extra
applicants while increasing the technical level on written
examinations for both classes.

Interested parties may file comments on any or all of these
petitions using the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS),
which also permits users to view all comments on file.

To file a comment, click on ''Submit a Filing'' under ''ECFS Main
Links.'' In the ''Proceeding'' field, type the full RM number,
including the hyphen, and complete the required fields. ''RM'' must be
in capital letters, and you must include the hyphen between ''RM'' and
the five-digit number. You may type your remarks into a form or
attach a file. ECFS also accepts comments in active proceedings via
e-mail, per instructions on the ECFS page.

To view filed comments, click on ''Search for Filed Comments'' under
''ECFS Main Links'' and type in the complete RM number, including the
hyphen, in the ''Proceeding'' field. ''RM'' must be in capital letters.