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Old April 3rd 07, 07:47 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default March 9 2007 License Numbers

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In .com "AF6AY" writes:

On Apr 2, 10:21�am, Paul W. Schleck " wrote:
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In . com "AF6AY" writes:

*[...]

* Curiously, there has been a growth of Club licenses
* granted in the last year. *I would have thought that Club
* licenses were relatively static since the overall licensee
* totals showed little growth or decline in numbers?
* 73, Len *AF6AY


I agree that this is a very non-intuitive result at first glance. *One
reasonable explanation would appear to be that there was a lot of
pent-up demand for club licenses from over the relatively long period of
time during which they were not issued, which was from at least 1978 to
1995. *The official FCC answer on the subject of club and special (i.e.,
"Vanity") callsigns during that time was that it was too much of an
administrative burden to grant them. *The FCC was also using a
relatively inflexible, legacy Honeywell system to track and issue
amateur radio licenses. *Those that held licenses during that time,
licenses that were impact-printed on smudgy carbon "burst" forms, might
note that they were only issued one day a week (Thursday, I believe).
Existing club licenses could be renewed, but if they expired and passed
out of their grace period without renewal, they could not be reissued.
I understand that the grandfathered club licenses were tracked by the
FCC manually in an index card catalog.


The period between 1995 and 2007 is twelve years.


That's true. So, it's probably not the only explanation, especially if
annual growth of club licenses has been increasing recently. In my
opinion, other plausible explanations based on more recent trends could
include:

- More amateurs being aware of the opportunity to establish club
stations (I know there's been recent debate in many forums regarding
how long it takes word of FCC action to trickle down into the general
amateur radio population and become common knowledge. It's probably
not twelve years, but it might not be 30 days, either.)

- Fewer bureaucratic hurdles to obtaining amateur radio licenses in
general, due to a debugged Universal Licensing System, VEC
handling of club licensing applications, and clearer documentation by
the FCC, the ARRL, and other entities regarding how to apply for and
renew licenses

- An aging amateur radio population that desires to establish more
legacies for callsigns held either by clubs or notable individuals

- A fear that another embargo of similar or greater length might happen
in the foreseeable future

- A desire to establish club stations for Elmering/recruiting purposes,
or to give amateurs of modest means or those under antenna
restrictions access to more capable stations at all bands including
HF, especially in light of licensing requirement changes

- Or even just clearer and more permissive feedback from the
FCC concerning clubs obtaining 1 or more callsigns, both by statement,
and by enforcement action, or lack thereof (see link below)

In that interim there have been a number of abuses of the Vanity
callsign system, most notably by Roy Tucker of southern
California who once had the Tucker family holding 41 callsigns,
all at the same street-city address. That is now down to a mere
twenty or so. :-)


In addition to flexing some welcome enforcement muscle against obvious
abusers like the Tuckers, the FCC was also kind enough to make a
clarification of policy about 8 years ago:

http://www.arrl.org/arrlletter/99/0709/#hollingsworth

so club license applicants may no longer feel that they would be making
themselves the "guinea pig" or "test case."

- --
73, Paul W. Schleck, K3FU

http://www.novia.net/~pschleck/
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