[opendtv] Re: Morse code to become a lost art?

The CW bands have already been resized effective
December 15, 2006. On 75m, the CW band was
reduced from 3500 to 3750 kHz to 3500 to 3600 kHz.
The CW band on 40m was reduced from 7000 to
7150 kHz to 7000 to 7125 kHz.

Elimination of the Morse code requirement was
inevitable to attract newcomers to the Amateur
service. With the Internet and cell phones, there's
not a lot of appeal to taking a Morse code test
to do similar activities. In fact, I consider learning
Morse code (at 13 words per minute) to be one
of the most difficult skills I've ever accomplished.

As a child of the 60's, Amateur Radio had a huge
influence on my life. It's what motivated me to
become an EE, which has been a very rewarding
career for me. I can't think of anything I would
(or could) do otherwise.

I consider elimination of the Morse code
requirement to be a positive. The Amateur
service should continue to be promoted, since it
does do one thing very well - provide emergency
communications when other services are disabled.

Ron W6RZ

Manfredi, Albert E wrote:

This should not affect the HF amateur bands reserved for CW comms. I
expect reassignment of those bands would only occur if the rest of the
world's governments decide to abolish Morse Code proficiency exams among
amateurs. And then it would take action at a future World Radio

It does seem like a first step to that end, though.



December 15, 2006 Chelsea Fallon: (202) 418-7991


Washington, D.C. - Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
adopted a Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (Order) that
modifies the rules for the Amateur Radio Service by revising the
examination requirements for obtaining a General Class or Amateur Extra
Class amateur radio operator license and revising the operating
privileges for Technician Class licensees. In addition, the Order
resolves a petition filed by the American Radio Relay League, Inc.
(ARRL) for partial reconsideration of an FCC Order on amateur service
rules released on October 10, 2006.

The current amateur service operator license structure contains three
classes of amateur radio operator licenses: Technician Class, General
Class, and Amateur Extra Class. General Class and Amateur Extra Class
licensees are permitted to operate in Amateur bands below 30 MHz, while
the introductory Technician Class licensees are only permitted to
operate in bands above 30 MHz. Prior to today's action, the FCC, in
accordance with international radio regulations, required applicants for
General Class and Amateur Extra Class operator licenses to pass a five
words-per-minute Morse code examination. Today's Order eliminates that
requirement for General and Amateur Extra licensees. This change
reflects revisions to international radio regulations made at the
International Telecommunication Union's 2003 World Radio Conference
(WRC-03), which authorized each country to determine whether to require
that individuals demonstrate Morse code proficiency in order to qualify
for an amateur radio license with transmitting privileges on frequencies
below 30 MHz. This change eliminates an unnecessary regulatory burden
that may discourage current amateur radio operators from advancing their
skills and participating more fully in the benefits of amateur radio.

Today's Order also revises the operating privileges for Technician Class
licensees by eliminating a disparity in the operating privileges for the
Technician Class and Technician Plus Class licensees. Technician Class
licensees are authorized operating privileges on all amateur frequencies
above 30 MHz. The Technician Plus Class license, which is an operator
license class that existed prior the FCC's simplification of the amateur
license structure in 1999 and was grandfathered after that time,
authorized operating privileges on all amateur frequencies above 30 MHz,
as well as frequency segments in four HF bands (below 30 MHz) after the
successful completion of a Morse code examination. With today's
elimination of the Morse code exam requirements, the FCC concluded that
the disparity between the operating privileges of Technician Class
licensees and Technician Plus Class licensees should not be retained.
Therefore, the FCC, in today's action, afforded Technician and
Technician Plus licensees identical operating privileges.

Finally, today's Order resolved a petition filed by the ARRL for partial
reconsideration of an FCC Order released on October 10, 2006 (FCC
06-149). In this Order, the FCC authorized amateur stations to transmit
voice communications on additional frequencies in certain amateur
service bands, including the 75 meter (m) band, which is authorized only
for certain wideband voice and image communications. The ARRL argued
that the 75 m band should not have been expanded below 3635 kHz, in
order to protect automatically controlled digital stations operating in
the 3620-3635 kHz portion of the 80 m band. The FCC concluded that these
stations can be protected by providing alternate spectrum in the
3585-3600 kHz frequency segment.

Action by the Commission on December 15, 2006, by Report and Order and
Order on Reconsideration. Chairman Martin and Commissioners Copps,
Adelstein, Tate, and McDowell.

For additional information, contact William Cross at (202) 418-0691 or

WT Docket Nos. 04-140 and 05-235.
- FCC -
News and other information about the Federal Communications Commission
is available at www.fcc.gov.

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