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FCC Dismisses Texas Ham’s Fourth Petition, Calls it “Repetitive”


For the fourth time in six years, the FCC has rejected a Petition for Rulemaking filed by Glen Zook, K9STH. In each of his Petitions, (2006, April 2009, 2011 and a Petition for Reconsideration in December 2009), Zook has asked the FCC to change its station identification rules as set forth in Section 97.119(a). His 2011 Petition was no different: Zook told the FCC that since “[v]irtually every amateur station does not identify at the end of the communication,” he requested that the station identification rule be amended to provide that if an amateur station transmits its call sign during its first transmission, that station need not transmit its call sign at the end of the transmission, provided that the transmission is less than three minutes. Zook called this the “3-minute rule.”

In denying Zook’s 2011 Petition, the FCC noted that he has filed numerous Petitions on the same matter -- modifying station identification rules -- all of which have been denied. “Section 1.401(e) of the Commission’s Rules provides that Petitions for Rulemaking that are ‘repetitive, frivolous, or which plainly do not warrant consideration by the Commission’ may be dismissed,” the FCC explained in denying Zook’s latest Petition. “Your proposal to reinstate the ‘3-minute rule’ was dismissed twice in the last five years. Your latest petition sets forth no new facts or changed circumstances warranting further consideration of the proposal. The current petition, therefore, is repetitive. Accordingly, we dismiss the Petition.”

The FCC pointed out that Zook had filed a Petition for Rulemaking in May 2006, requesting that it amend Section 97.119(a) “to incorporate certain portions of the Commission’s former station identification rule, including allowing the transmission of the call sign to be omitted at the end of a series of transmissions lasting less than three minutes.” After the FCC placed this Petition on Public Notice -- where it received approximately 100 comments -- the FCC dismissed it in 2007, “concluding that the requested changes were neither necessary nor supported by the Amateur Radio community, and that the problem of amateur operators not identifying their stations would be better addressed by enforcement of the present rule rather than a rule change.”

In April 2009, Zook filed a Petition for Rulemaking, again requesting that Section 97.119(a) be amended to incorporate certain portions of the FCC’s former station identification rule, “including allowing the transmission of the call sign to be omitted at the end of a communication or series of transmissions lasting less than three minutes.” The FCC dismissed this Petition later that year “because the Petition did not present evidence meriting a rule change or demonstrate that circumstances had changed since 2007 with respect to the adequacy of the current station identification rule.”

In December 2009, Zook filed a Petition for Reconsideration, disagreeing with the FCC’s findings in denying his earlier 2009 Petition for Rulemaking. The FCC concluded that “your current request, like your previous Petitions, does not demonstrate that the current station identification rule is inadequate or that revising the station identification requirement as requested would address the concern that many Amateur Radio operators do not identify their station timely or at all. We also note that, in response to your 2006 Petition, commenters believed that the current station identification rule properly balances the burden of requiring the station to transmit its call sign with the convenience of those receiving the transmissions to determine the identity of the station making the transmissions.”



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