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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB051 (2000)

ARLB051 New FCC System Yields Fast License Grants

QST de W1AW  
ARRL Bulletin 51  ARLB051
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  December 28, 2000
To all radio amateurs 

ARLB051 New FCC System Yields Fast License Grants

The FCC's new system to handle batch filed amateur applications from
Volunteer Examiner Coordinators has cut processing time from hours
to minutes. The FCC inaugurated the more rapid amateur license
application processing system December 28.

''Way to go, FCC!'' said an enthusiastic ARRL-VEC Manager Bart Jahnke,
W9JJ, after his office fed its first batch of license applications
into the system. Jahnke says processing of five dozen ARRL-VEC
applications took about 50 minutes. The W4VEC in North Carolina and
Central America VEC also took advantage of the new system for the
first time.

Except for a two-hour window right after midnight each day, the
speedy new system looks for VEC submissions each hour on the half
hour. With FCC license grant processing now measured in terms of
hours instead of days, the major factor now determining the time
from exam to license grant is how quickly VE teams get their test
results to their VECs.

The FCC has been estimating a processing window of up to 90 minutes,
depending on volume and arrival time. License grant results should
be available immediately on the Universal Licensing System Web site,, using the license search option. Once a
grant is in the FCC database, the licensee has operating privileges.

Applications processed by the FCC one day will appear in the public
update (''zip'') files the following morning. Public call sign servers
on the Internet should be able to update within 24 hours after FCC
action--rather than the 48 hours that's now typical.

On-line filings from individuals, weekend filings and FCC-manually
processed applications filed to Gettysburg will continue to be
handled as they are now. These are batched for midnight processing,
and weekend filings will not queue up until Monday midnight.


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