Fcc Drops Code Requirement



Morse Code Requirement Ends Friday, February 23

In a Report and Order released December 19, 2006, the USA's Federal Communications Commission dropped the morse code requirement from all Amateur Radio license classes. The order justified this as follows ...

Based on our review of the record in the proceeding and on consideration of the various comments on this issue, we believe that because the international requirement for telegraphy proficiency has been eliminated, we should treat Morse code telegraphy as we do other communications techniques. In this connection, we note that our Rules do not require individuals to pass a practical examination to demonstrate some degree of proficiency in non-telegraphy communications techniques. Rather, individuals demonstrate knowledge of other communication techniques and technical qualifications by passing written examinations composed of questions that prove that the examinee possesses the operational and technical qualifications required for the privileges authorized by the operator license.41 We believe, therefore, that written examinations are sufficient to determine whether a person is qualified to be issued an amateur radio operator license. Accordingly, we conclude that the public interest will best be served by eliminating the telegraphy examination requirement as a separate examination requirement in the amateur service. To achieve this result, we will amend Section 97.501 of our Rules to eliminate the requirement that an individual demonstrate five wpm proficiency in telegraphy in order to qualify for a General or Amateur Extra Class operator license.

Read the complete order here ...

Licensing details from ARRL ...

We understand that many people have come to study Morse code only because of the license requirement. We also recognize that this is a stressful learning environment and that many good hams have been blocked from service this way. We hope that the removal of this arcane requirement will stimulate the service and ultimately lead to more people enjoying the accomplishment we have always argued for in Why Learn Code. -- Ward Cunningham

 

Last edited April 6, 2007
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