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ARRL General Bulletin ARLB069 (1996)

ARLB069 FCC Gate 2 update

ARRL Bulletin 69  ARLB069
From ARRL Headquarters
Newington CT  October 3, 1996
To all radio amateurs

ARLB069 FCC Gate 2 update

If all goes well at the FCC's Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, office, you
might have that new vanity call sign you applied for under Gate 2 in
time for the ARRL Sweepstakes CW weekend (November 2-3). A spokesman
said this week that the FCC anticipates it could be four weeks or so
before any grants are issued to first-day applicants. The FCC said
the number of personnel available to enter application information
and call sign lists is limited, and that keying in up to 25 call
signs and then verifying that they were keyed correctly is not a
very fast process.

The FCC will not start making any grants for first-day filers until
all day-one applications have been entered into the FCC's computer.
Then applications will be processed randomly from among those in the
first-day pool.

The number of hams taking advantage of Gate 2 has been less than
anticipated. As of September 25, the FCC had received 5297 Gate 2
applications. First-day vanity filers totaled 4527, a number that
even surprised the FCC, which had been expecting a larger flood of
Gate 2 filings. The FCC said 4188 paper applications and 339
electronic applications were received the first day. Another 770
applications, mostly paper, had showed up by Wednesday, September
25.  Slightly more than 7 percent of applicants used the FCC's newly
inaugurated electronic filing system.

Among the major headaches for the folks in Gettysburg are
applications that contain illegible information. FCC personnel have
been instructed to skip over requested call signs they cannot
decipher. Also, some electronic filers have been sending their
payments to the wrong Post Office Box in Pittsburgh and using the
FCC Form 159 designed for use by those filing on paper. The FCC said
that contrary to instructions on the electronic application form,
electronic filers should not forward a copy of their Amateur Radio
license to the FCC by mail. FCC personnel have no way to match up
licenses with applications, and they don't need the license copy to
process the application.

The FCC said that some applicants apparently have had second
thoughts about changing their call signs and have contacted the FCC
to pull their Gate 2 paperwork. The FCC says that cannot be done.
Those issued a vanity call sign who decide they like their old call
sign better will have to pay another 30 dollars and reapply under
Gate 1.

If the FCC is unable to grant any of your vanity call sign requests,
your application will be dismissed, and the FCC will notify you to
that effect. But the Commission will not return your 30 dollar
application fee until you request a refund in writing. Unlucky
vanity applicants will be informed that ''credit cannot be provided
toward future filings,'' and that FCC procedures authorize a refund
''only when requested in writing.'' To take another chance under Gate
2 means completing another Form 610V and sending in another 30
dollar fee.

The FCC has not announced a schedule to open Gates 3 and 4.


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