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I'm curious what people think. Should there be an option/method available, either in times like Covid-19, or any other time, during which we should be giving hopeful amateur radio operators the option of testing online? I believe that the Anchorage Amateur Radio Club VEC (https://kl7aa.org/vec/) is doing it. What are your thoughts?
Or at least, the FCC. After nearly 50 years of not collecting fees, and now that the licensing system is automated, and now the FCC no longer has to pay for examiners, and now that the FCC incurs very little expense to oversee the Amateur Radio Service, it's decided it needs to collect a $35 license fee. I suppose I'm not surprised, but I am concerned. You see, radio frequencies are a commodity and hams have enjoyed a free ride because the FCC has valued our contributions to public service and the research and development of new technologies. But now, apparently, its attitude has changed. Thirty-five bucks for a ten year license is not that big a deal for most of us. Yet what is the likelihood that, in a few years, it becomes $35/10year/band usage? For those of us who only operate on one or two bands, that'd probably still be no big deal. But I'm just wondering how such a slippery slope could affect Amateur Radio. You can read Part 97 in its entirety and never find the word "hobby." We are a service - the FCC defines us as such. Perhaps we should remind the Commission of that fact.
untilLicensing exams will be offered at Winterfest 2020! When: Sunday, March 29, 2020 — the same date as Winterfest. Exams will start at 11:00 a.m. Applicants must complete their exams by 12:30 p.m. Where: The exams will be offered in the CN Building rooms 219 and 231 at the Winterfest site — Northern Virginia Community College, 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003. (See map below) Cost: The exam fee is $15. This fee covers a single attempt at all three exam elements. (If a candidate fails an element and wishes to re-test, another fee is required). Parking is free in the “B” lot at Winterfest events. While we hope you will attend Winterfest2020!, there is no obligation to do so or to pay the Winterfest admission fee. What to bring with you: A print out with your FCC issued FCC Registration Number (FRN) and bring it with you. We will not accept Social Security Numbers. If you need to retrieve your FRN or to apply for an FRN, visit the FCC Universal Licensing System web site. A government issued photo ID. Young people without a government issued ID may bring a school photo ID or a birth certificate if accompanied by a parent with ID. The original AND a photo copy of your current license or any earlier license for which you wish to claim exam credit if applicable. The photo copy will not be returned. Two number 2 pencils with erasers and a pen A calculator with memories and formulas erased if desired. You may NOT use the calculator function of your cell phone during exams. Do NOT bring books, notes, or other written materials. Cash or check for the exam fee. For more information: Contact Howard at email@example.com IF YOU PLAN ON TAKING AN EXAM AND ARE NOT YET A HAM COMMUNITY MEMBER: REGISTER AN ACCOUNT ON HAM COMMUNITY HERE: https://hamcommunity.com/register/ THEN COME BACK AND RSVP ON THIS PAGE Walk-ins are accepted but we encourage you to reserve your spot.