Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at verizon.net
Fri Apr 13 21:43:45 CDT 2007


The FCC has invited opposition comments ("oppositions") to two petitions for
reconsideration filed in the wake of the Commission's Report & Order (R&O)
in WT Docket 05-235. That R&O altogether eliminated any Morse code
examination element to obtain an Amateur Radio license. One petition calls
on the FCC to reinstate the 5 WPM Morse code requirement for Amateur Extra
class applicants. The second cites problems with the FCC Electronic Comment
Filing System (ECFS) and seeks to have the Commission reopen the proceeding
for an additional round of comments. Oppositions are due April 27 (comments
in support of either petition are not welcome). Replies to oppositions - ie,
comments on the opposition comments - are due 10 days later. Petitioner
Anthony R. Gordon, KG6EQM, of West Covina, California, contends that
"significant national security implications" require that the Commission
take another look at the issue.

"As a federal government agency during the ongoing War on Terrorism, it is
only prudent that the critical skill of Morse code telegraphy be kept as a
hedge against unanticipated national security events and for emergency
communication requirements, even if the consensus view or technological
trend is in the opposite direction at the present time," Gordon said in his
petition, filed February 23. He characterized Morse code proficiency as a
"core competency" of the Amateur Radio Service.

In its R&O last December 15, the FCC cast aside arguments that Morse ability
was advantageous in emergency communication situations. "The Commission
previously addressed the essence of this argument and concluded that most
emergency communication today is performed using voice, data, or video
techniques," the FCC said. Gordon asked the FCC to restore the Element 1
Morse code examination element for Amateur Extra class applicants.

In a second petition the FCC put on public notice earlier this month,
Russell D. Ward, W4NI, of Nashville, Tennessee, argued that the FCC
"improperly deleted and suppressed comments received by the e-mail system of
the FCC, ECFS." Ward said the FCC was "arbitrarily deleting and suppressing
public comments" on the basis of the sender's e-mail address - especially if
it contained an Amateur Radio call sign - and charged that the Commission
"is discriminating against radio amateurs." 

As a result, he contends, the process of commenting on the FCC Notice of
Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) in WT Docket 05-235 "was flawed," in part
because the Commission did not have the advantage of all comments members of
the public may have attempted in vain to post.

Ward's petition, filed February 12, asks the FCC to do one of four things:
Stay WT Docket 05-235, fix the "flawed ECFS," reopen the proceeding for
comment or reconsider the "after a valid comment period." The FCC received
more than 3500 public comments in the Morse code proceeding.

Neither Gordon nor Ward addressed the issue of how the FCC should deal with
licensees who qualified for Amateur Extra under the new "no-code" rules that
became effective on February 23.

Both petitions are on the FCC Web site: Gordon's is at
nt=6518808553>. Ward's is at

Interested parties may file oppositions and replies on these petitions for
reconsideration via the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS)
<http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/> and by serving a hard copy on the petitioner
at his current mailing address. Comments supporting one petition or another
are not welcome, however.

Instructions for filing electronic comments are on the ECFS page. Under
"ECFS Main Links," click on "Submit a Filing" and type "05-235" (without the
quotation marks) in the "Proceeding" field, being sure to include the

All statements must be specific to one or more arguments in the
reconsideration petition with which the person filing disagrees. They should
not simply say, "I oppose this petition." Only individuals who have filed
oppositions may file replies to oppositions.

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