FCC rejects petition to change amateur radio identification rules


The FCC has denied a Petition for rule making modify the Part 97 station identification rules to better accommodate and simplify station identification during emergency nets, exercises or activations. ARRL member Robert A. Dukish, KK8DX, of Canfield, Ohio, had requested an amendment to Rule 97.119 (a) to allow a single point of transmission for station identification on these occasions. . He proposed to allow a network control station or other designated participant to announce the call signs of each station participating in the network or exercise, when tactical call signs are often used, to 10 minute intervals, using automatic CW identification.

In rejecting Dukish’s petition, Scot Stone, deputy chief of the mobility division of the Bureau of Wireless Telecommunications, said commentators overwhelmingly opposed the proposal.

“They argue that the current rule strikes an appropriate balance between the need to identify the source of transmissions and ease of communication,” Stone wrote. “Commentators state that, in their years of experience with amateur emergency communications, the station identification requirement has not proven to be a burden or a hindrance, and that the current procedure helps actually to efficient operations by providing a clear indication that a communication is complete and the channel is available.

Stone said some commentators have argued that the procedure proposed by Dukish will be impractical and cause confusion, while others have called his proposal a solution in search of a problem.

“The purpose of the station identification requirement is to make the source of transmissions clear to those who receive those transmissions,” Stone wrote. “Separating the call sign from each transmission would defeat this objective. Further, he said there was no evidence that the station’s current identification requirements hindered emergency communications from radio amateurs.

Dukish filed his petition in December 2018, and the FCC invited comments on it in February 2019.

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