ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB077 (1996)

SB QST @ ARL $ARLB077
ARLB077 FCC computer update

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ARRL Bulletin 77  ARLB077
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  October 31, 1996
To all radio amateurs

SB QST ARL ARLB077
ARLB077 FCC computer update

Once again, the word from Gettysburg is ''next week.'' Maybe it was
early Halloween gremlins, but unexpected problems that have plagued
the amateur computer system at the FCC's Gettysburg office all week
have all but eliminated any chance that Gate 2 vanity call signs
will be issued in time for this weekend's ARRL November Sweepstakes
CW contest. Hams antsy to learn when they'll get one of their vanity
requests have besieged the FCC with phone calls this week. A
spokesman at Gettysburg said Thursday, however, that he doubts that
the FCC will be ready to issue any vanity call signs until sometime
next week. ''I'm 90 per cent sure it's not going to make it this
week,'' he said.

Some optimism flared when October 30 grants appeared in some call
sign databases, leading to speculation that the vanity call signs
might soon follow. However, the FCC has announced that any grants
dated after October 24, 1996, are invalid because many of them were
erroneous.

The unspecified computer problems are not related to the vanity call
sign program. FCC personnel in Gettysburg already have entered data
from the more than 4500 first-day Gate 2 applications, and are
poised to start granting licenses once the computer problems are
resolved, the spokesman said. The FCC anticipates that event could
happen ''by the end of next week.'' It's not known how long it will
take to process all of the first-day applications, since this will
be the first time the FCC has run the program using ''live'' data.
Before processing, however, the FCC wants to ''be sure everything is
going to work well,'' the spokesman said. In the meantime, hams are
asked to be patient and to refrain from calling the FCC to inquire
about the status of their vanity call sign applications.
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