D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Fri Dec 15 20:37:56 EST 2006




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 


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 

Reconsideration. Chairman Martin and Commissioners Copps, Adelstein, Tate, 
and McDowell.

For additional information, contact William Cross at (202) 418-0691 or 
William.Cross at fcc.gov.

WT Docket Nos. 04-140 and 05-235.



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