The steep raise in fees will impact amateur radio operators and students by making licensing exclusive, rather than inclusive.WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA, USA, October 1, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ -- One of the nation’s leading providers of amateur radio license education is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to toss out plans for a steep increase in fees for ham radio licenses.
Ham Radio Prep is requesting licensed amateur radio operators, its students, and those who have successfully used its curriculum to attain amateur radio licenses to protest the FCC’s decision to start charging $50 for 10-year ham radio licenses that are currently free of charge.
A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, issued in August’s FCC Docket 20-270, calls for public comments on the agency’s proposal to begin charging not only for ham licenses, but also $50 for vanity call signs and an additional $50 to have a paper copy of their license mailed to them.
With an extraordinarily high rate of unemployment in the United States, Ham Radio Prep believes the exorbitant fees being proposed for ham radio licenses would make the service exclusive, rather than inclusive. Vanity call signs are where hams select from available call signs for their on-air identification, much like vanity license plates are used on vehicles. While vanity call signs aren’t as necessary as ham licenses, the FCC could realize some income from providing the service, but not at a high rate of $50.
According to Chuck Gysi, Ham Radio Prep’s Communications Manager,
amateur radio is a personal radio service, not commercial. As such, amateur radio operators realize no income potential from having a ham radio license, unlike commercial broadcast stations - or even a two-way radio system operated by a business for efficient dispatch purposes.
Amateur radio is a gateway for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education, not only by young individuals, but also by others who may be mid-career, or even by retirees looking at second careers. Ham radio operators are a cache of potential volunteers waiting to assist their communities on a non-profit basis through the goodwill of international amateur radio. At the same time, there is a critical shortage of young individuals seeking STEM education, and often amateur radio empowers them to seek out interesting, critical, and essential careers and experiences. This is a time unlike any other, when barriers to learning should not be put in place for our young people.
Ham Radio Prep believes that if the FCC chooses to set new fees for ham radio licenses, there should be a system, either within the agency or through an allied organization, to ensure there is an aid-based system to assist those wanting to become new hams if they can’t afford the high cost of a federal license.
Ham Radio Prep strongly opposes plans by the FCC to begin charging $50 for ham licenses and will be mobilizing its students, licensees, and those allied to the cause to protest the agency’s high-fee proposal. To learn how to oppose the FCC fee increase, please visit www.HamRadioPrep.com/FCC or www.facebook.com/HamRadioPrep .
About the Company
Ham Radio Prep was established in 2017, with its popular website being launched online in 2018, to assist people interested in obtaining FCC-issued amateur radio licenses. In addition to offering study courses for the FCC Technician and General class ham courses, Ham Radio Prep has recently released a study course for the top-level Amateur Extra license.