Extra Delays

As I proudly blogged about on 28 August, I did successfully pass my first attempt at the US extra exam and walked out of the VE session with my signed CSCE in hand.  I started checking the FCC ULS database the following week.  I had certainly been given the impression from the local VE team that they send the results off and typically upgrades or new licenses are shown within just  few days.  True enough, I noticed the FCC had received the upgrade information on 1 September.  I will admit I burned a hole through cyberspace refreshing the browser several times on Friday, 2 September hoping I would see the approved status show.  However, that was not to be. 

Over the weekend I had a ball working the Colorado QSO party on Saturday and spent a few hours on Sunday and Monday on the air.  I knew with it being a long holiday weekend I would expect to see any movement until Tuesday, 6 September.  Unfortunately, Tuesday 6 September came and went and the same status was showing. 

I became somewhat curious and decided to look into the amount of time which it took the FCC to fully approve my technician to general upgrade in January 2008.  Based on the information in the ULS database, the FCC received the request and it went to approved status all in the same day with the license being mailed the following day.  Something seemed a bit odd as I couldn’t understand what would be causing the delay this time.

When I review the status on the FCC ULS database this is what I see.

09/01/2011  Modification Received
09/01/2011  Redlight Review Completed
09/01/2011  Offlined for Alert List Review

I decided to utilize social media and the many hams I follow on Google+ to see if anyone else had experienced this.  Within a short amount of time another ham responded and told me what the status of Offlined for Alert List Review means.  Basically it is the FCC equivalent of the FAA’s No Fly List.  They went on to say that my name in on the FCC’s list of people who should not be given a license.  WHAT????

Now if you know me, you know I’m a God fearing, law-abiding, tax paying, red blood American.   Since getting my technician class licensed, I successfully upgraded to general in Jan. 2008 (without issue) and have had a couple of background checks for my volunteering with the Denver Police Dept.  In addition, I had my passport renewed in the Spring of 2011 and successfully re-entered the country after visiting Belgium and England during the June/July 2011 timeframe.  So what does the FCC think I’ve done wrong?

Well…if I knew the answer to that question I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog post.  I figure this must just be a case of mistaken identity.  After all, the name Jerry Taylor is fairly common.  Perhaps another Jerry Taylor has some FCC complaints logged against them and the FCC just needs additional time to confirm that I’m not the same Jerry Taylor.  Or, perhaps the FCC is casting a bigger net and another Jerry Taylor has been flagged in another government database.  At this point, I really don’t know. 

So what have I done about this?  Well…I’ve decided at this time NOT to contact the FCC.  I would probably only be able to speak to an admin level type person who may or may not know anything about why my application is on hold.  Instead, I utilized my ARRL Life Membership and contacted the ARRL Regulatory and Advocacy group.  At least these are fellow hams who should have the knowledge and insight to work directly with the FCC to clear this up.  Unfortunately, I’ve not heard back from the ARRL as of yet.

I wouldn’t think it would be too difficult to determine the right Jerry Taylor from the wrong Jerry Taylor (if this is the case), but who knows.  I’ve not done anything wrong and can’t think of any reason why this would or could be happening.  I’ll keep you all posted as I learn more.

Until then….

73 de KD0BIK/AE

Jerry Taylor, KD0BIK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Colorado, USA. He is the host of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast. Contact him at [email protected].

3 Responses to “Extra Delays”

  • Matt W1MST:

    That’s interesting, Jerry. From this post, it looks like it has happened in batches before and can occur for a wide variety of reasons.

    From the FCC glossary:

    A list maintained by the FCC staff that identifies potential categories of “problem” applications so that ULS can identify them and send them offline for manual processing. The alert list function can then be used to flag applications based on the identity of the applicant, the spectrum being applied for, or the type of license being sought. For example, if an application is received for spectrum that is the subject of an ongoing rulemaking proceeding, that application would be offlined by ULS. The staff would then need to override a system alert in order to grant the application.

  • Fred W0FMS:

    You don’t like extra personal attention from the federal government? What’s wrong with you! :O) We are from the government and are here to help YOU!

    Actually likely it is nothing personal, your name is very common and one of the “checks” the FCC likes to do is make sure that hams don’t start “Collecting callsigns”. There also could be a paperwork irregularity from the VE that needs to be cleared up.. there are many possibilities. Maybe they don’t like your ‘blog… who knows! :O)

    Give the wheels of bureaucracy a couple of more weeks and DON’T PANIC!

    Remember in 1986, when I got my novice it took FOUR MONTHS and you couldn’t operate until you had paper in hand. I literally forgot the code in the time period! (I’m not kidding!) So be cool about it, and it’ll be fine.

    Fred W0FMS

  • K4TOJ - Tom:

    I did a quick google search and found the following link. Funny thing is when I looked this guy up on QRZ I found he was a law enforcement officer and had been for quite some time. Looking at the dates, it appeared to take 3 days before his lock was released. Good luck – and I know how hard it is to wait to see the upgrade!

    http://forums.qrz.com/archive/index.php/t-241027.html

    73,
    Tom

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