Excerpt From ARRL News Letter
Proposed FCC Amateur License Fees
In my September 2020 Northwest Division Newsletter we discussed newly proposed FCC mandated fees for amateur radio licenses and other transactions.
A refresher: Under the proposed fee structure amateur radio licensees would pay a $50 fee for each amateur radio license transaction. Included in the FCC’s fee proposal are applications for new licenses, renewal and upgrades to existing licenses, vanity call sign requests, and even for official copies of amateur licenses. Excluded are applications for administrative updates, such as changes of address. The FCC proposal is contained in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket 20-270, which was adopted to implement portions of the “Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act” of 2018 — the so-called “Ray Baum’s Act.”
The Act requires that the FCC switch from a Congressionally-mandated fee structure to a cost-
based system of assessment. In its NPRM, the FCC proposed application fees for a broad range of services that use the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS), including the Amateur Radio Service that had been excluded by an earlier statute. The 2018 statute excludes the Amateur Service from annual regulatory fees, but not from application fees.
The ARRL has been notified that the NRPM was formally published in yesterday morning’s Federal Register (https://tinyurl.com/yyk8f2yp). The Register notes the deadline for comments on the NPRM is November 16, and the Reply comment deadline is November 30.
It is highly recommended that all amateurs submit comments to the FCC regarding this repressive NRPM. Not only our wallets, but the possible long term viability of this wonderful hobby depends on it! If you would like to submit a comment on this proceeding, the official FCC website address is: https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings. Where it asks for: Proceeding(s), type in: 20-270.