All NAQCC members recently received this email from Steve Szabo WB4OMM NAQCC President.
Since this ridiculous amateur radio license fee proposal impacts us all, it is well worth the time to respond to the FCC. Steve’s email includes a link to the read all about it ARRL page, and more importantly, the FCC response page as well as the information (other than your name email and address) you need to paste into the response. Of course you can use your own words but Steve’s response gets the point across. Read on and then take a minute to respond.
Good Morning Folks!
Important!!! This impacts – YOU! You might well want to file comments against this NPRM.
The FCC filed a Notice for Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to start collecting a $50 fee for Amateur Radio License Applications, Vanity Calls, Renewals and for a copy of your license. Currently, these are free.
Here is an article from the ARRL that summarizes the changes:
Comments are being accepted on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270, which proposes application fees for radio amateurs. Formal deadlines for comments and reply comments will be determined once the NPRM appears in the Federal Register. Comments may be filed now, however, by using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings ECFS), posting to MD Docket No. 20-270. The docket is already open for accepting comments, even though deadlines have not yet been set.
Here is how to file your comments (copy and paste in your browser):
In the first box type, “20-270”, then select the “Amendment of the Schedule of Application Fees….”
Then fill out the remainder and submit. It won’t immediately show up, it has to be reviewed first..mine showed up this morning.
Here are the comments I submitted:
“I strenuously implore the FCC to drop this fee initiative for Amateur Radio License Applications and Renewals. Amateur Radio Operators provide VOLUNTARY COMMUNITY SERVICES. VOLUNTEER Examiners, SKYWARN, ARES, RACES, and CERT are all VOLUNTARY groups and services. Even the title, “AMATEUR” denotes VOLUNTEER service (non-paid). I see this fee as a huge barrier to youth (Boy and Girl Scouts, High School, Elementary Students) at a minimum; I see it as a, “slap in the face” to folks who provide volunteer community services. If you need funding, raise the fees of the commercial license holders who profit from the license. Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments.”
If you provide comments, make them your own…there are over 300 comments on the site against this NPRM as of today, but obviously the more the better. No nastiness, “just say no!”.
Thanks for reading! I hope you understand why I sent this out.
The radio spectrum has always been a place to attract the minds of engineers and homebrewers that conduct experiments and create inventions. During its history, research by amateur radio hobbyists have had a significant impact on science, engineering, industry and social services. Amateur radio has helped to empower nations and save lives.
Now that the Internet connects billions around the globe, many potential amateur radio operators have been diverted away from amateur radio. Time is also taking its toll on the number of amateur radio operators. New licenses continue at the anemic pace of around 7,000 per year. In 2018, the number of U.S. licensed amateurs were only about 750,000. With active ham radio operators primarily in their 60’s and 70’s now, statistics offer a bleak outlook for the future of amateur radio.
The question amateurs have been kicking around for years comes into play. How and what do amateur radio enthusiasts do to attract young people into our ranks? There seems to be a deep divide regarding these questions.
With social media as their method of global communications,, it appears that young people who do take an interest in amateur radio view it as a form of community service. In their world, a transceiver is no longer required to chat around the world.
Simple cheap handie talkies can connect to the Internet by way of local repeaters now. Within amateur radio itself, an expensive transceiver and a huge antenna are no longer required to talk around the world.
What do you think Amateur Radio will look like decades from now?