American RadioRelay League Will Resolutely Oppose The Proposal Of The US Federal Communications Commission To Impose A US$50 Application Fee

Date:Oct 29, 2020


American RadioRelay League

The American RadioRelay League (ARRL) will firmly oppose the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s proposal to impose an amateur radio license and application fee of $50. 

As the November 16th comment deadline approaches, ARRL urges members to voice their opinions to ARRL by raising their own objections. The FCC’s proposed rulemaking notice, MD Docket 20-270, appeared in the Federal Register on October 15 and set the deadline for comments to be November 16, and the deadline for issuing responses is November 30. This is right Comments that have submitted comments. ARRL has prepared guidelines for submitting reviews with the FCC, which includes tips for preparing reviews and step-by-step filing instructions. Use FCC's electronic annotation filing system to archive annotations on MD Docket 20-270.

According to the proposal, amateur radio licensees will pay a fee of $50 for each application for new licenses for amateur radio applications, license renewals, upgrades to existing licenses, and vanity call sign requests. The FCC also proposes to charge a fee of $50 to obtain a printed copy of the license. Does not include applications for management updates, such as address changes and annual management fees. Part-time service permit holders have been exempt from application fees for several years.

The FCC proposal is included in the proposed rulemaking notice in MD Docket 20-270, which was adopted to implement the 2018 “Repacking Radio Waves to Provide Better Use Rights for Users of Modern Services”, the so-called “Thunder · The conduct of Ray Baum." The bill requires the FCC to switch from the fee structure set by Congress to a cost-based evaluation system. The FCC proposed application fees for various services using the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) in its regulatory notice, including amateur radio services. The 2018 regulations exclude amateur services from the annual supervision fee, but they are not included in the application fee. The FCC proposal will affect all FCC services and will not list amateur radio separately.

ARRL encourages members to comment, emphasizing the contribution of amateur radio to the country and the community. ARRL’s guidelines for submitting comments include talking points that may help prepare comments. These emphasize the role of amateur radio in providing voluntary communications support in disasters and emergencies, and inspire students to continue their education and careers in engineering, radio technology, and communications.

As the FCC explained in its rulemaking notice, Congress passed the Ray Baum's Act to force regulatory agencies such as the FCC to recover the fees involved in submitting and processing applications.

In its NPRM, the FCC encourages licensees to update their information online for free. Many amateur service applications can be processed through highly automated general licensing services. The Ray Baum's Act does not waive the filing fee for amateur radio services. A few years ago, the FCC stopped assessing the cost of vanity phone signs.