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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB044 (2001)

ARLB044 IARU Administrative Council Calls for End to Morse Requirement

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 44  ARLB044
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  October 12, 2001
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB044 IARU Administrative Council Calls for End to Morse Requirement

Saying that it was ''setting aside any previous relevant decisions,''
the International Amateur Radio Union Administrative Council this
week resolved that IARU policy supports ''the removal of Morse code
testing as an ITU requirement for an amateur license to operate on
frequencies below 30 MHz.'' The Council further resolved to urge
member societies--as an interim measure--to seek Morse code testing
speeds ''not exceeding five words per minute.''

The resolution was adopted during the IARU Administrative Council
meeting October 6-8 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, which followed the
14th General Assembly of IARU Region 2.

The Council's Morse resolution took into consideration the
approval--without opposition--of ITU-R Recommendation M.1544. That
document sets out the minimum qualifications of radio amateurs. The
Council also said it recognizes that Morse code ''continues to be an
effective and efficient mode of communication used by many thousands
of radio amateurs'' but that Morse code proficiency as requirement
for an HF amateur license ''is no longer relevant to the healthy
future of Amateur Radio.''

The principal business at the Administrative Council session was to
review the status of IARU preparations for WRC-2003. Agenda items of
concern to amateurs include, among others, the harmonization of
amateur and broadcasting allocations near 7 MHz, the adequacy of HF
broadcasting allocations below 10 MHz, and possible revisions to
Article S25 of the international Radio Regulations.

Among other things, Article S25 spells out Amateur Radio operator
qualifications. It now provides that Amateur Radio license
applicants demonstrate the ability ''to send correctly by hand and to
receive correctly by ear, texts in Morse code signals'' for operation
below 30 MHz. The IARU Administrative Council supports the revision
of Article S25 and the incorporation by reference of Recommendation

The IARU Council selected the theme of the next World Amateur Radio
Day, April 18, 2002, as ''Amateur Radio: Continuing Innovation in
Communication Technology.''


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