Tuesday, August 02, 2016

New entry class license in the USA?

I was always of the opinion that eliminating the Novice Class license was a mistake.  They should have re-tooled the privileges and the test.  Now the ARRL seems to want to re-invent the wheel - from the July 28th "ARRL Letter";

"An ARRL Board of Directors-appointed ad hoc committee will study the current Technician license exam requirements and recommend possible changes, which may eventually find their way into an FCC petition for rule making. These could include consideration of a new entry-level license class. The panel's recommendations to the Board would be aimed at developing "a more targeted examination with a more limited set of privileges that would attract a new generation of amateurs."

At the ARRL Board of Directors July meeting (from left to right): Second Vice President Brian Mileshosky, N5ZGT; First Vice President Greg Widin, K0GW; President Rick Roderick, K5UR, and CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF. [Sean Kutzko, KX9X, photo]

The motion at the July 15-16 Board meeting by New England Division Director Tom Frenaye, K1KI, noted that the Novice license was discontinued in 2000, and the Morse code requirement lifted from all licenses a few years later, with the Technician ticket becoming the new entry point into Amateur Radio. It also cited "a considerable increase in difficulty for the new entry point" and new licensees who have been granted "extensive privileges not appropriate for all newcomers."

"[W]e need to improve upon our efforts to attract newcomers to Amateur Radio and pass along the tradition of emergency and communication support, developing interest in hands-on projects, and improving on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education," the motion asserted."

It seems to me that once the FCC accomplishes something (such as eliminating the Novice license), it's probably going to be pretty near impossible to get them to do something similar again.  They should have thought harder when eliminating the Novice ticket. To parody "The Six Million Dollar Man":

"We can rebuild it. We have the technology".

Hindsight is always 20/20; but that "Entry Level" ticket was a good thing to have; and it never should have gone away.. At least I think so.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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