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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB050 (2001)

ARLB050 Mail disruptions lead to vanity processing suspension

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 50  ARLB050
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  November 20, 2001
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB050 Mail disruptions lead to vanity processing suspension

Recently announced changes in mail handling procedures at the FCC's
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, office have effectively halted processing
of Amateur Radio vanity call sign applications. The FCC has
processed vanity applications received through October 14. Vanity
applications received after that remain on hold for now.

''We understand that mail directed to the FCC Gettysburg office
beginning October 15 was being held pending the start of special
handling precautions to address any biohazard contamination
concerns,'' said ARRL VEC Manager Bart Jahnke, W9JJ. He said the FCC
is tracking the receipt date for each piece of mail.

Because the FCC gives equal priority to paper and electronic vanity
applications, all vanity processing was being suspended until the
mail situation is resolved. Citing a need for heightened security
measures, the FCC announced November 14 that it had moved the
Gettysburg office's mailroom offsite, to the rear entrance of 35
York St, Gettysburg, PA 17325.

The FCC did not announce, however, that mail received at Gettysburg
starting October 15 had not yet been opened, pending arrangements to
handle it without the possibility of endangering personnel. Jahnke
said vanity processing should resume once the FCC begins to open its
mail backlog. Just when that might happen is not yet known. Vanity
processing typically takes 18 days.

Jahnke said the mailroom situation also could affect some Amateur
Radio renewals. He said amateurs who filed for renewal in a timely
fashion may continue to operate beyond the expiration, if the mail
delays cause the license to lapse before the renewal occurs. He said
applications from those filing for renewal near the end of their
two-year grace period will be accepted for processing if they get to
the FCC before the grace period expires.


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