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Richard Weil

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  1. 1 vote
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    Richard Weil commented  · 

    I agree this would remove a burden to both the public and the Commission, but there is the issue of station licenses. Currently they are issued and renewed with amateur operator licenses. To separate them out and require periodic renewals rather defeats the purpose of this proposal.

    Maybe 2 classes of station licenses should exist: one that, like now, is with the (lifetime) operator license and automatically expires when the licensee does. The other is a club/other special station license that every decade or two must be renewed by a licensed operator serving as trustee.

    The only downside to this could be indefinitely tying up the callsigns of deceased operators. Like the FAA, notification of dead licensees could be requested, but whether that would consistently be done by next of kin is questionable. Perhaps every 20 years the FCC could attempt to reach all licensees to determine who is still alive. Not a perfect solution, though. Maybe callsigns could be automatically recycled after 75 years, unless it is known that the applicant is either alive or deceased.

    So maybe separating out the licenses makes more sense--lifetime operator and renewable station. Or is there a reason even to have a separate station license? Maybe the Commission could amend the rules to just issue every successful applicant a lifetime license with a personal callsign, and then (except for clubs) stop issuing station licenses entirely.

    Richard Weil supported this idea  · 
  2. 26 votes
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  3. 8 votes
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    Richard Weil commented  · 

    See my note below on waiting almost 10 years for a petition to be acted upon. This sort of thing shouldn't happen.

  4. 6 votes
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  5. 7 votes
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    Richard Weil commented  · 

    I remember in the 1960s and '70s when there was a question about some licensing or technical issue it was possible to write a letter to the Commission and receive a coherent reply in a few days. That doesn't seem to be the case any more; at least my experience has been that to get a reply it's necessary to call and track down somebody who knows the topic. (And see my comment on taking 10 years to get a petition acted upon.) The phone operators I've talked with are great, and people sound like they want to be helpful, but that involves additional outreach to contact them. There just doesn't seem to be the two-way communication that used to characterize the FCC.

  6. 36 votes
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  7. 23 votes
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  8. 20 votes
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    Richard Weil commented  · 

    I agree, this is a good idea that makes sense. Resetting the clock for someone who makes the effort to upgrade gives that person an additional incentive to increase their skills. At the same time it reduces the Commission's paperwork. This seems to be a win-win situation for everyone.

  9. 5 votes
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  10. 41 votes
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    Richard Weil commented  · 

    I don't know about the FCC, but other federal agencies, notably the FAA, have been alleged to have terrible disconnects between the people working in the field, the bureaucrats making the rules, and the administrators who think they are on top of what is occurring. A Commissioner who was an engineer and actually understood the reality on the ground might avoid such a gap, but it ultimately depends on honest communication going from "ordering" to "doing". Perhaps a minimal course in the technology of communications as part of the orientation for new Commissioners would be helpful. But just going out and talking to people beyond the Beltway would also be a big plus. Do members ever go to ham conventions, visit tiny independent broadcast stations, try small ship and aircraft radios, or visit repair shops? Such experiences could add a lot more than sheer technical expertise.

  11. 2 votes
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