[AMRadio] Petition to FCC for Lifetime licenses

Michael D. Harmon mharmon at att.net
Thu Feb 25 22:49:37 EST 2016

I thought I'd throw my two cents' in here ...

When I passed my First Class Radiotelephone License test back in 1969 
(with Ship Radar Endorsement) at the tender age
of nineteen, the license renewal period was 5 years.  I kept track of 
the expiration date lest I let my ticket lapse.  I was also
licensed as novice station WN0WML in1968, relicensed as technician 
WB0LDJ in 1973, upgraded to advanced in 1987, and
finally made it to extra class in 2000.

When it came time to renew my commercial ticket in 1984, I sent in the 
paperwork, and when I received the materials back
from the FCC, I was astonished to discover that I had been "downgraded" 
to a General Radiotelephone License.  I also noticed
that my new license had no expiration date.

None of the formerly prized FCC commercial licenses are worth more than 
the paper they are written on these days.  They
mean nothing at all to a broadcast station looking for an engineer. In 
fact, I'm somewhat surprised that the FCC is even
issuing them anymore.  The last time I renewed mine, they sent it back 
without the radar endorsement.  I had to send them
one of my old licenses as proof that I had ever had the radar 
endorsement.  They finally got it all straightened out.

I believe that the bottom line of all this is that the FCC would just as 
soon not have to deal with 'personal' licenses anymore.
They get no revenue from processing fees, and I'm sure that it takes a 
bureaucracy of hundreds to manage them.  We all know
how they handled the CB licensing issue back in the Seventies.  I'm sure 
that if they thought they could get by with it, they
would just eliminate all license classes issued to individuals.

Of course, none of this bodes well for the hams and others who studied 
for their licenses and passed exams to get them.  For
that matter, I haven't seen the millions of new licensees that were 
predicted to come aboard once the CW requirement was dropped.
Thankfully, there doesn't seem to be that much chaos on the bands than 
there was before the CW requirement was dropped,
although 80/75 meter SSB has quite a bit of racist and gutter talk in 
the evenings, so I don't spend much time there.

FWIW ...
Mike, WB0LDJ

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