Saturday, December 16, 2006

FCC drops Morse code requirement for ham licenses

Morse code will no longer block anyone interested in getting an amateur radio license from doing so. The FCC has ruled that requiring Morse code testing is an "unnecessary regulatory burden."

In its report on this news the ARRL notes:
The question of whether or not to drop the Morse requirement altogether has been the subject of often-heated debate over the past several years, but the handwriting has been on the wall.

The decision is against my minority view, expressed to the FCC more than a year ago during the public comment period, that went beyond ARRL recommendations to keep a code requirement for extra class licensing. But the ruling itself will not change my preferred mode for radio communication, and I expect plenty of company in the (shrinking) CW bands as long as I'm on the air.

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