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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB029 (2015)

ARLB029 FCC Now Says ULS, Other Systems, Will Not Return Until
September 10

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 29  ARLB029
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  September 8, 2015
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB029 FCC Now Says ULS, Other Systems, Will Not Return Until
September 10

The FCC has announced that its Universal Licensing System (ULS) and
some other website applications remain offline for maintenance, but
the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) is now back in service
and the Electronic Document Management System (EDOCS) should be
available in a short time. The remaining computer system upgrades
scheduled to have been completed by today, September 8, now are not
expected to be done until September 10, the FCC said in a Public
Notice. As the ULS outage continues, it will not be possible to file
any Amateur Radio applications, including examination session
documents, or conduct any license or application searches.

"Over Labor Day weekend, a dedicated FCC team worked day and night
to complete major IT upgrades," the FCC's Chief Information Officer
David A. Bray, said in a statement. "This work included physically
moving more than 200 different legacy servers out of FCC's
headquarters to a commercial service provider." This move - a
cost-saving measure, Bray explained - ran into trouble when it was
determined that additional cabling was needed to complete the
transition. "Unfortunately, this delayed completion of all of the
system upgrades - even with the FCC team working around the clock
throughout the holiday weekend," Bray explained.

While the requirement to pay a regulatory fee for Amateur Radio
vanity call sign applications officially ended on September 3,
prospective vanity applicants now will have to wait until the ULS is
up and running again to file an application for an available call
sign. The FCC has told ARRL that the approximately 18-day vanity
call sign waiting period will remain in place "for now."

ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, said a lot of candidates and
volunteer examiners have begun asking why new call signs or license
upgrades have not yet been issued.

"We have a huge back log in our filing system that continues to
grow!" she said. "We already have approximately 75 examination
sessions and over 500 applications waiting to be released to FCC."

Bray said it took seven moving vans to contain the servers being
relocated. "With a massive server move of this scale - even with
detailed planning, independent verification, and backup plans - the
opportunity always exists for surprises, especially with legacy IT
systems, nearly 400 program applications, and hundreds of servers,"
he pointed out.

The project will relocate the FCC's "legacy" computer systems to a
commercial service provider, helping to reduce maintenance costs,
improve "resiliency," and allow the FCC to shift many of its legacy
applications to the cloud, as it has done with its Consumer Help

The FCC said in its Public Notice that it anticipates all systems
and databases to be back online by 1200 UTC on September 10. By that
time, it said, the Commission's website "will have returned to
normal operations, with full content and search capabilities
available." FCC voicemail and e-mail also should be back by then

"We will continue to work diligently and provide updates on these IT
upgrades," Bray said. "The entire FCC team and I truly appreciate
your patience and understanding as we work to complete all of the


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