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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB039 (1999)

ARLB039 Multiple call sign holders could face fines

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 39  ARLB039
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  June 18, 1999
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB039 Multiple call sign holders could face fines

The FCC's Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, says the Commission may have
to resort to fines to curb the practice of hoarding multiple club
station call signs. ''The reason we're concerned about this is that
we consider it an abuse of our licensing processes,'' said
Hollingsworth, an FCC legal adviser for enforcement. ''If somebody
applies for 30 or 40 licenses over time, it really overloads the
staff.'' Hollingsworth pointed out that the call signs often must be
typed in manually.

''If we have continued abuse, we're going to have to levy some
forfeitures, which we have done in the past for abuse of Commission
processes,'' he said. ''With short staff and budget considerations,
we just can't let things like this go on.''

Earlier this month, a ham listed as the trustee for more than three
dozen club station call signs agreed to give up all but one of them.
Motoaki Uotome, JA1GZV, who also holds a US Extra ticket as W9BO,
apparently was the trustee of 41 club station call signs. Last
month, the FCC set aside 14 recently granted club station call signs
and 12 recently granted club vanity call signs Uotome held and asked
him to justify the grants.

Hollingsworth concedes that the FCC rules do not specify an upper
limit to the number of call signs an individual may hold, but says
''the underpinning of the rules is common sense.'' He recommended
that multiple call sign holders seriously consider turning in their
excess grants before they hear from the FCC, ''because we will be
pursuing them.''

In addition to the Uotome case, the FCC has contacted amateurs in
California and Arizona who hold several club station call signs and
has asked them to justify having them. News of the cases already has
had an impact. ''We're had several others come in on a voluntary
basis and turn their excess number in,'' Hollingsworth said.

The FCC says the two-year rule applies for those seeking to obtain
one of the desirable call signs being yielded or called back by the
FCC, and Hollingsworth plans to specify a date of cancellation on
each letter to a holder so that it will be clear when the two years
are up.

''We're also going let them know they can't reclaim any of these
call signs under former call sign holder exceptions to the two-year
period,'' he said. Close relatives also would be unable to claim any
of the call signs in the future.  


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