You have probably heard about the FCC proposal to establish a $50 application fee for Amateur Radio licenses. This is part of an overall redesign of the FCC’s fee structure, affecting many radio services, not just amateur radio.
The Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) is found in Docket 20-270. The public is invited to submit comments on the proposal via the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). It is relatively easy to do. You can upload a document with your comments or use “express comment” to just type in your comments. If you are short on time, you could simply submit a few sentences supporting or opposing the licensing fee along with your reasoning. The only tricky thing you need to know is the proceeding number: 20-270.
I thought this was important enough that I put together my thoughts and submitted them. The short version of my comments are:
- The $50 fee seems excessive, compared to the cost of relatively simple amateur radio license transactions. (If it really costs the FCC $50 to do this, they need to redesign their system.)
- The $50 fee will be a barrier to getting an amateur radio license for many potential licensees. That’s my opinion based on interacting with a large number of new licensees coming through our club’s Technician license class.
- I support charging a smaller fee, in the range of $15 to $25.
You can read my complete comments here:
Robert Witte K0NR Comments MD Docket No. 20-270
73 Bob K0NR