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Default [KB6NU] Its time for remote amateur radio license exams

KB6NU's Ham Radio Blog

Its time for remote amateur radio license exams

Posted: 23 Mar 2020 08:01 AM PDT

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, VECs around the country have—and
rightly so—shut down their exam sessions. That has, of course, disappointed
a number of folks trying to get their Tech licenses and those who are
taking this time to study for General or Extra Class licenses.

The answer is for VECs to ramp up remote testing. This has been allowed
since 2014, when the FCC published Report and Order FCC 14-74. The FCC

In the years since the VE system was established, remote testing methods
have been developed, including audio and video links, either hard-wired to
a site or available through Internet or satellite technologies, which would
allow a VE team to observe an examinee from afar. Such methods are commonly
used by educational institutions to provide classes, by businesses for
teleconferencing among numerous locations simultaneously, and to provide
myriad services to consumers.

Unfortunately, only the Anchorage VEC seems to be the only VEC interested
in doing this. As Sterling, N0SSC, points out on his blog, none of the VECs
that hes contacted are remotely interested in doing this. I had either a
similar response or no response at all when I emailed the 14 accredited

Sterling even got a somewhat nasty reply from the Laurel VEC on Twitter:

The Chairman of the Laurel VEC, as recently as yesterday and earlier today,
reaffirmed that remote testing is not necessary or desired. No means No.
Does No mean ever? At this point in time, the answer is Yes. Lets move on.

Personally, I find the Laurel VECs position to be incredibly short-sighted.
I know that it takes some effort to set up remote testing, but its not
rocket science. As the FCC noted almost six years ago, we have the
technology. As was pointed out to me on Twitter by WA6VPS, Exemplar Global
already administers FCC GROL examinations online. WA6VPS notes, If anything
they could show VECs how to do it.

What we need now is some leadership. I would love to see the ARRL or one of
the other big VECs step up and do this. Its time to do this now.

The post Its time for remote amateur radio license exams appeared first on
KB6NUs Ham Radio Blog.

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