[WVARC] RE: FCC Proposals

Sumner, Dave, K1ZZ dsumner at arrl.org
Wed Sep 24 17:23:12 CDT 2003

Dear Joe,
Southwestern Division Director Goddard has asked me to reply on his behalf, and on behalf of the ARRL officials you addressed.
You note there have been six proposals submitted to the FCC with regard to amateur licensing qualifications and privileges. Actually, there are quite a number of others at various points in the FCC's administrative pipeline. There is no need for the ARRL to react to each and every one. The FCC will be taking no action on any of them for months, if not longer. There is plenty of time for the ARRL to receive considered input from its members, and either to formulate a reasoned proposal for change or a rationale for maintaining the status quo. The present timetable calls for the Board to take up the issue at its January 2004 meeting. There is simply no urgency to address it any sooner than that, and ample reason to devote our attention to issues having more immediacy such as BPL.
The ARRL-VEC representative abstained in the vote at the NCVEC conference because NCVEC does not represent the ARRL to the FCC on rulemaking issues. We represent our members to the FCC directly. Abstentions by the ARRL-VEC at NCVEC conferences have been more the rule than the exception ever since 1987. We cooperate with other VECs in maintaining the question pools, but beyond that our participation in NCVEC is quite limited.
I wrote the IARU reports from WRC-03. They accurately reflected the extent of discussion of modifications to Article 25, including 25.5. A WRC is a conference of administrations. No administration proposed the retention of 25.5 as-is, nor was that any surprise. Why would an administration want to be required by treaty to do something, rather than having the option to decide for itself? Frankly, once Article 25 was on a WRC agenda there was no question but that the international treaty requirement for proof of Morse ability would be dropped. In January 2001 the ARRL Board said it "recognizes and accepts that suppression of the Morse code requirement in Article 25 is likely to occur at WRC 2003." In the runup to the conference we were careful not to suggest there would be any other outcome.
I hope this explains where things stand, and why.
David Sumner, K1ZZ
Chief Executive Officer, ARRL
-----Original Message-----
From: Joseph M. Wade [mailto:wadejoe at yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2003 5:05 PM
To: jkolin at optonline.net; Hobart, Mary K1MMH; Wilson, Mark K1RO; Sumner, Dave, K1ZZ; Stafford, Rod (Int'l Vice President); Heyn, Fried (3rd Vice President); Craigie, Kay (2nd Vice President); Haynie, Jim (President); Harrison, Joel (1st Vice President); Stinson, Walt (Dir, Rocky Mtn); Bodson, Dennis (Dir, Roanoke); Mondro, Richard (Vice Dir,GL); Weaver, Jim K8JE (DIR, GL); Leggette, Henry (Vice Dir, Delta); Roderick, Rick (Dir, Delta); Greenheck, Twila (Vice Dir, Dakota); Bellows, Jr., John (Dir, Dakota); Huntington, Howard (Vice Dir, Central); Isely, Dick (Dir, Central); Fuller, Bernie (Dir, Atlantic); Edgar, William (Vice Dir, Atlantic Div.); Woolweaver, David (Vice Dir, West Gulf); Day, Coy (Dir, West Gulf); Miller, Tuck (Vice Dir, SW); Goddard, Art (Director, SW); Donahue, Sandy (Vice Dir SE); Butler, Frank (Dir, SE); Morton, Warren WS7W, (Vice Dir RM); Shattuck, Leslie, (Vice Dir, Roanoke); Fallon, Frank (Dir, Hudson ); Mendelsohn, Steve (Vice Dir, Hudson); Walstrom, Wade, W0EJ, (DIR, MW); Frahm, Bruce (Vice Dir, Midwest); Frenaye, Tom (Dir, NE); Raisbeck, Mike (Vice Dir, NE); Milnes, Greg (Dir, NW); Fenstermaker, James (Vice Dir, NW); Vallio, Bob (Dir, Pacific); Oppel, Andy (Vice Dir, Pacific); GNARC at K1TJ.com
Cc: Haynie, Jim (President); wvarc at kkn.net
Subject: FCC Proposals

Dear League Leaders,
As you know, there are currently six proposals on changing licensing rules and license privileges up before the FCC for approval.  As a member of the ARRL, I depend on my organization to be the voice for all of us members.  The greatest benefit of League membership is knowing that you will weigh in on issues of importance to Amateur Radio.  After all, the voice of tens of thousands of members, in unity, is very loud.  And certainly will get the attention of the FCC and others, while my pipsqueak opinion is drowned out and not considered.
I am asking all of you to take a stand on these issues.  I am depending on you to determine the will of the membership and be our voice.
By not taking a stand you lead me and others to believe that you are willing to let the changes take place as proposed.  That is fine if that is the will of the membership.  I am very much opposed to reducing or eliminating the code requirement except at the entry level.  But if the majority of the membership does not agree with me, I can accept that and move on.
I am ashamed that the ARRL sat like a wooden dummy and let the national VEC organizations submit a proposal to the FCC for elimination of the code requirement.  You could have at least delayed if you weren't sure how your membership felt.  And if you don't know how we feel about this issue, why don't you know.  It has been a hot issue for over a decade.  Your abstention looks like an approval to the FCC.
At WRC-2003 the elimination of the CW requirement for licensing was reported in offhand remarks with no discussion of any debate or discussion.  By your lack of reporting on the matter, you lead many of us to believe that the ARRL representatives just flat out gave in on this matter.  Or that you gave in on the code issue to gain what you hail as great benefits to 40 meters.  Tell me if I am wrong, but I believe the majority of the membership is against eliminating the code requirements.
I could write a 500 page letter telling you how much I love all the things that ARRL has done.  After all, I have been a member since 1967.  But at this time we have six proposals, and maybe more to come that touch the nerve of almost all members.  I ask you not play dead on these issues.
Joe Wade - W6YR
Yorba Linda, CA  
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