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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB079 (1996)

ARLB079 Vanity call update

ARRL Bulletin 79  ARLB079
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  November 13, 1996
To all radio amateurs

ARLB079 Vanity call update

The FCC calls them WIPS--''works in process''--applications that
need some kind of special handling. But for up to 12 per cent of
first-day Gate 2 vanity call sign applicants, WIPS means ''no new
call sign.'' It now appears that as many as 550 first-day
applications ended up in the WIPS pile for a variety of
''inconsistencies''--some as simple as an address on an application
that failed to match one already in the FCC's database. The FCC said
this week that it hopes to clear its decks of all first-day vanity
WIPS by November 15. An FCC spokeswoman in Gettysburg says that
being in the WIPS stack does not necessarily mean you ''missed out''
on getting one of your call sign choices.  Depending on the WIPS
category (the FCC's not telling what those are), a new call sign
already may have been attached to many of the applications that are
being held up. New Gate 2 grants since November 4 have brought the
grand total of successful applicants to 3805.

It's now estimated that some 200 first-day Gate 2 applications were
dismissed by the FCC, most because all of the applicants' call sign
choices already had been granted to other hams. Still, many 1x2 call
signs remain. As of this week, more than 6000 1x2 calls in all US
districts remained available--substantially more than the number of
vanity call signs the FCC has issued under Gate 2 to date.

Still not known is just when Gettysburg will process Gate 2
applications that were received after September 23, the opening day
for Gate 2. An FCC spokeswoman said this week she had ''no idea''
when that would happen. Applications from approximately 1400 hams
arrived at the FCC in the days following the opening of Gate 2.

Although the FCC did not release the initial day-one grants until
Tuesday, November 5, the applications actually were processed--and
the licenses dated--on November 4. The FCC spokeswoman said that
computer problems on the morning of November 5 prevented the release
of the database file until late that afternoon.


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