RE: [HoustonScan] FCC Eliminates Morse Code Requirement

Please confirm this email. I have awaited this moment for 30 flippin’ years!
From: [] On Behalf Of Chris Boone
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2006 9:02 PM
Subject: [HoustonScan] FCC Eliminates Morse Code Requirement
December 15, 2006 Chelsea Fallon: (202) 418-7991
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
adopted a Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Order) that
modifies the rules for the Amateur Radio Service by revising the examination
requirements for obtaining a General Class or Amateur Extra Class amateur
radio operator license and revising the operating privileges for Technician
Class licensees. In addition, the Order resolves a petition filed by the
American Radio Relay League, Inc. (ARRL) for partial reconsideration of an
FCC Order on amateur service rules released on October 10, 2006.
The current amateur service operator license structure contains three
classes of amateur radio operator licenses: Technician Class, General
Class, and Amateur Extra Class. General Class and Amateur Extra Class
licensees are permitted to operate in Amateur bands below 30 MHz, while the
introductory Technician Class licensees are only permitted to operate in
bands above 30 MHz. Prior to today’s action, the FCC, in accordance with
international radio regulations, required applicants for General Class and
Amateur Extra Class operator licenses to pass a five words-per-minute Morse
code examination.
Today’s Order eliminates that requirement for General and Amateur Extra
licensees. This change reflects revisions to international radio
regulations made at the International Telecommunication Union’s 2003 World
Radio Conference (WRC-03), which authorized each country to determine
whether to require that individuals demonstrate Morse code proficiency in
order to qualify for an amateur radio license with transmitting privileges
on frequencies below 30 MHz. This change eliminates an unnecessary
regulatory burden that may discourage current amateur radio operators from
advancing their skills and participating more fully in the benefits of
amateur radio.
Today’s Order also revises the operating privileges for Technician Class
licensees by eliminating a disparity in the operating privileges for the
Technician Class and Technician Plus Class licensees. Technician Class
licensees are authorized operating privileges on all amateur frequencies
above 30 MHz. The Technician Plus Class license, which is an operator
license class that existed prior the FCC’s simplification of the amateur
license structure in 1999 and was grandfathered after that time, authorized
operating privileges on all amateur frequencies above 30 MHz, as well as
frequency segments in four HF bands (below 30 MHz) after the successful
completion of a Morse code examination. With today’s elimination of the
Morse code exam requirements, the FCC concluded that the disparity between
the operating privileges of Technician Class licensees and Technician Plus
Class licensees should not be retained. Therefore, the FCC, in today’s
action, afforded Technician and Technician Plus licensees identical
operating privileges.
Finally, today’s Order resolved a petition filed by the ARRL for partial
reconsideration of an FCC Order released on October 10, 2006 (FCC 06-149).
In this Order, the FCC authorized amateur stations to transmit voice
communications on additional frequencies in certain amateur service bands,
including the 75 meter (m) band, which is authorized only for certain
wideband voice and image communications. The ARRL argued that the 75 m band
should not have been expanded below 3635 kHz, in order to protect
automatically controlled digital stations operating in the 3620-3635 kHz
portion of the 80 m band. The FCC concluded that these stations can be
protected by providing alternate spectrum in the 3585-3600 kHz frequency
Action by the Commission on December 15, 2006, by Report and Order and Order
on Reconsideration. Chairman Martin and Commissioners Copps, Adelstein,
Tate, and McDowell.
For additional information, contact William Cross at (202) 418-0691 or
WT Docket Nos. 04-140 and 05-235.
– FCC –
News and other information about the Federal Communications Commission is
available at
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