[AMRadio] Incentive Licensing (was Odd)

D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Wed Dec 27 12:17:18 EST 2006

> As far as Incentive Licensing, who cares at this point. It was
> over 35 years ago. ARRL acknowledged years ago that it probably was not
> the best proposal to support.
> Pete, wa2cwa

The problem is that the legacy of Incentive Licensing still with us.  Even 
with the newly-expanded phone bands, the US amateur bands are still 
segmented with an overly complex matrix of subbands defined according to a 
combination of emission mode and licence class.  Such a complicated amateur 
subband system exists in nowhere else in the world today, outside of US 

Not only did the League acknowledge years ago that Incentive Licensing 
probably was not the best proposal to support, they have also admitted that 
it has been a dismal failure in terms of its originally stated purpose, to 
enhance the technical expertise of the amateur community.  They have tacitly 
admitted this by removing most of the in-depth technical articles from QST 
and squirrelling them away in a more obscure publication, QEX, which members 
must pay extra for.  Their apparent justification is a belief that the 
greater amateur community today is less interested in technical topics and 
construction articles, and more interested in operating events, human 
interest articles, etc.

With the curtailment of the significance of Morse Code with the elimination 
of  the code  requirement for the amateur exams, I see no useful purpose in 
maintaining the Extra class CW subbands, especially now that the exclusive 
narrowband segments have been significantly reduced by the long-overdue 
phone band expansion.  I would go so far as to advocate the removal of the 
last vestige of  Incentive Licensing by doing away with licence class 
subbands altogether, if the written exam for full amateur privileges (Extra, 
General, Advanced, Class A or whatever you wanted to call it) were made more 
comprehensive, at a level of difficulty comparable to that of the old 
pre-Incentive Licensing General class exam, and the exact test 
questions/answers withdrawn from publication.

Don k4kyv


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