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W5YI News :
October 3, 2012FCC NPRM Proposes Drastic Changes to Amatuer Service Rules

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING AND ORDER, Adopted: October 1, 2012 Released: October 2, 2012
Comment Date: (60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register), Reply Comment Date: (90 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)

Dkt No. 12-283 RM-11629 RM-11625 09-209.Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 10/01/2012 by NPRM.(FCC No. 12-121). WTB FCC-12-121A1.doc FCC-12-121A1.pdf FCC-12-121A1.txt

The FCC proposes to amend Part 97 of the Commission’s Rules regarding administration of examinations and examination element credit for licenses in the
Amateur Radio Service. Specifically, in the NPRM the FCC proposed:

1. A response to a petition for rulemaking filed by the Anchorage VEC to grant examination credit for expired amateur operator licenses, instead of requiring former licensees to retest. See Anchorage VEC Petition for Rule Making, RM-11629 filed April 15, 2011.

2. In conjunction with this change, the FCC has proposed to shorten the 2 grace period during which an expired amateur license may be renewed and to revise the grace period in the vanity call sign system correspondingly.

3. The FCC also proposed to reduce the number of volunteer examiners needed to administer an amateur license examination from 3 to a minimum of 2, and seeks comment from the amateur community on amending the rules to permit "remote test administration" to facilitate use of available wireless Internet or satellite technologies by administrating and certifying VEs to automate the processes of conducting amateur license examinations.

4. And finally, in response to a petition for rulemaking filed by the ARRL The FCC proposes to amend the Amateur Service rules to allow amateur stations to transmit certain additional emission types, but deny ARRL’s request for a blanket waiver pending the resolution of the rulemaking proceeding.
See ARRL Petition for Rule Making, RM-11625, filed March 15, 2011.

The NPRM proposes the following changes to be amemded in Chapter 1 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 97 - Amateur Radio Service:

1. The authority citation for part 97 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 48 Stat. 1066, 1082, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 154, 303. Interpret or apply 48 Stat. 1064-
1068, 1081-1105, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 151-155, 301-609, unless otherwise noted.
2. Section 97.3 is amended by revising paragraph (c)(5) to read as follows:
§ 97.3 Definitions.
* * * * *
(c) * * *
(5) Phone. Speech and other sound emissions having designators with A, C, D, F, G, H, J or R as
the first symbol; 1, 2, 3, or X as the second symbol; E as the third symbol. Also speech emissions having
B as the first symbol; 7, 8 or 9 as the second symbol; E as the third symbol. MCW for the purpose of
performing the station identification procedure, or for providing telegraphy practice interspersed with
speech. Incidental tones for the purpose of selective calling or alerting or to control the level of a
demodulated signal may also be considered phone.
* * * * *
3. Section 97.19 is amended by revising paragraphs (c)(1)-(3) to read as follows:
§ 97.19 Application for a vanity call sign.
* * * * *
(c) * * *
(1) A call sign shown on an expired license grant is not available to the vanity call sign system for
180 days following the expiration of the license.
(2) A call sign shown on a surrendered or canceled license grant (except for a license grant that is
canceled pursuant to §97.31) is not available to the vanity call sign system for 180 days following the date
such action is taken. (The availability of a call sign shown on a license canceled pursuant to §97.31 is
governed by paragraph (c)(3) of this section.)
(i) This 180 day period does not apply to any license grant pursuant to paragraph (c)(3)(i), (ii), or
(iii) of this section that is surrendered, canceled, revoked, voided, or set aside because the grantee
acknowledged or the Commission determined that the grantee was not eligible for the exception. In such
a case, the call sign is not available to the vanity call sign system for 30 days following the date such
action is taken, or for the period for which the call sign would not have been available to the vanity call
Federal Communications Commission FCC 12-121
16
sign system pursuant to paragraphs (c)(2) or (3) of this section but for the intervening grant to the
ineligible applicant, whichever is later.
(ii) An applicant to whose operator/primary station license grant, or club station license grant for
which the applicant is the trustee, the call sign was previously assigned is exempt from the 180 day period
set forth in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
(3) A call sign shown on a license canceled pursuant to §97.31 of this part is not available to the
vanity call sign system for 180 days following the person's death, or for 180 days following the expiration
of the license grant, whichever is sooner. If, however, a license is canceled more than 150 days after the
licensee's death, the call sign is not available to the vanity call sign system for 30 days following the date
such action is taken. The following applicants are exempt from this 180 day period:
* * * * *
4. Section 97.21 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 97.21 Application for a modified or renewed license grant.
* * * * *
(b) A person whose amateur station license grant has expired may apply to the FCC for renewal
of the license grant for another term during a 180-day filing grace period. The application must be
received at the address specified above prior to the end of the grace period. Unless and until the license
grant is renewed, no privileges in this part are conferred.
* * * * *
5. Section 97.307 is amended by revising paragraphs (f)(8) and (f)(10) to read as follows:
§ 97.307 Emission standards.
* * * * *
(f) * * *
(8) A RTTY or data emission having designators with A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J or R as the first
symbol; 1, 2, 7, 9 or X as the second symbol; and D or W as the third symbol is also authorized.
* * *
(10) A station having a control operator holding a Novice Class operator license or a Technician
Class operator license may only transmit a CW emission using the international Morse code or phone
emissions J3E and R3E.
* * * * *
6. Section 97.505 is amended to read as follows:
Federal Communications Commission FCC 12-121
17
§ 97.505 Element credit.
The administering VEs must give credit as specified below to an examinee holding any of the
following license grants or license documents:
(a) An unexpired or expired FCC-granted Amateur Extra Class operator license grant: Elements
2, 3, and 4.
(b) An unexpired or expired FCC-granted Advanced Class or General Class operator license
grant: Elements 2 and 3.
(c) An unexpired or expired FCC-granted Technician Class or Technician Plus operator license
document: Element 2.
(d) An expired FCC-issued Technician Class operator license document granted before March 21,
1987; Element 3.
(e) A CSCE: Each element the CSCE indicates the examinee passed within the previous 365
days.
7. Section 97.507 is amended by removing paragraph (d) and revising paragraphs (a), (a)(2), and
(c) to read as follows:
§ 97.507 Preparing an examination.
(a) Each written question set administered to an examinee must be prepared by a VE holding an
Amateur Extra Class operator license. A written question set may also be prepared for the following
elements by a VE holding an operator license of the class indicated:
(1) * * *
(2) Element 2: Advanced, General, or Technician Plus Class operators
(b) * * * * *
(c) Each written question set administered to an examinee for an amateur operator license must
be prepared, or obtained from a supplier, by the administering VEs according to instructions from the
coordinating VEC.
8. Section 97.509 is amended by removing and reserving paragraph (g), and revising paragraphs
(a), (f), and (i) to read as follows:
§ 97.509 Administering VE requirements.
(a) Each examination for an amateur operator license must be administered by a team of at least
2 VEs at an examination session coordinated by a VEC. The number of examinees at the session may be
limited.
* * * * *
Federal Communications Commission FCC 12-121
18
(f) No examination that has been compromised shall be administered to any examinee. The same
question set may not be re-administered to the same examinee.
(g) [Reserved]
* * * * *
(i) When the examinee is credited for all examination elements required for the operator license
sought, 2 VEs must certify that the examinee is qualified for the license grant and that the VEs have
complied with these administering VE requirements. The certifying VEs are jointly and individually
accountable for the proper administration of each examination element reported. The certifying VEs may
delegate to other qualified VEs their authority, but not their accountability, to administer individual
elements of an examination.
* * * * *

Comment Date: (60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)
Reply Comment Date: (90 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)
Interested parties may file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated. Comments may be filed using the Commission’s Electronic
Comment Filing System (ECFS) electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.


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