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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB078 (1999)

ARLB078 ULS vanity processing inches forward

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 78  ARLB078
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 23, 1999
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB078 ULS vanity processing inches forward

The FCC's new Universal Licensing System has moved a bit closer to
resuming full-scale amateur vanity call sign processing.

Several lucky applicants who had submitted call sign requests in the
pre-ULS era benefited in recent days from some ''live'' testing of the
ULS vanity processing system. A few not-so-lucky applicants soon
will learn, however, that the FCC had to rescind some of those
vanity grants it cranked out--and should not have--during those
''test runs.''

Until last week, no vanity call signs had been granted since August
4. The ULS has been accepting vanity applications since it
inaugurated the ULS for the Amateur Service August 16, however.

Some 30 vanity call sign applications dating from July were
processed September 16. The FCC ran a batch of another 50 or so
vanity applications September 21. ''We're taking it slow,'' a ULS
spokesperson said.

But while reviewing the vanity applications processed, FCC personnel
found some that should not have been granted in the first place,
because the applicants made various fatal errors in the application
process. The FCC says those call signs will be cancelled and the
applications dismissed.

''And there will be plenty more, I'm sure,'' the spokesperson said,
anticipating additional dismissals down the road. The FCC has the
option of rescinding any grant within 30 days.

Barring any unforeseen major problems, the FCC anticipates
additional ''live test'' runs before resuming full-scale vanity
processing, possibly by month's end. Once that happens, vanity call
sign processing will occur every day for eligible applications based
on date of receipt. Gone under ULS are weekly processing runs and
the dreaded work-in-process--or WIPs--stack of applications that
were kicked out of the former automated system and designated for
manual processing. Under the ULS, applications that would have
gotten an additional manual review in the past now will be
automatically dismissed and returned to the applicant for correction
and refiling.

Vanity applications not accompanied by payments within the 10-day
deadline will be dismissed automatically. The ULS now permits
applicants to make credit card payments on-line. The fee for a
vanity call sign application increased to $14 on September 14.

In the wake of comments and criticisms about the difficulty of
having to configure a dial-up connection with a particular browser
(Netscape version 4.5 or higher and version 4.61 preferred) to file
an application, the ULS Task Force says it's planning to convert to
electronic filing via the Internet. But a spokesperson says that is
not likely to happen for another six to nine months. In the
meantime, some have opted to file a paper Form 605 instead.


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