FCC Seeks to Streamline its Hearings Process

ARLB019 FCC Seeks to Streamline its Hearings Process
The FCC is asking for public comments on procedural changes that, if
adopted, would streamline many administrative hearings under the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
“Currently, these hearings typically are conducted like trials in
civil litigation and include, among other things, live testimony
before an administrative law judge, cross-examination of witnesses,
and an initial decision by the administrative law judge that is
subject to review by the Commission,” the FCC said in a Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in EB Docket 19-214. The FCC said its
proposals “are designed to supplement the Commission’s current
administrative law judge referral process and promote more efficient
resolution of hearings.”
The NPRM can be found in PDF format at,
If adopted, the proposals would:
* Codify and expand the use of a process that would rely on written
testimony and documentary evidence in lieu of live testimony and
* Enable Commission staff to act as a case manager that would
supervise development of the written hearing record when the
Commission designates itself as the presiding officer at a hearing.
* Dispense with the preparation of an intermediate opinion, whenever
the record of a proceeding can be certified to the Commission for
final decision.
According to the FCC, the proposed procedures would expedite its
hearing processes, consistent with the requirements of the
Communications Act and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) while
ensuring transparency and procedural fairness.
The FCC’s current hearing rules provide that “any hearing upon an
application shall be a full hearing in which the applicant and all
other parties in interest shall be permitted to participate.” The
FCC noted that it has, on numerous occasions, curtailed the use of
oral testimony and cross-examination in particular proceedings, in
order to expedite the hearing process.
“In our experience, disputes in Commission proceedings typically
involve criticisms by one party of the evidence proffered by another
party or the legal significance of that evidence, not actual
conflicts in testimony between two witnesses concerning
outcome-determinative facts,” the FCC said.
“We contemplate codifying and expanding the use of a written hearing
process that can be used in most adjudicative proceedings, including
those conducted by an administrative law judge. In particular, we
propose to authorize the presiding officer to conduct a written
hearing whenever factual disputes can be adequately resolved on a
written record.”
Among other proposed changes, the FCC would prohibit staff members
who have taken an active part in investigating, prosecuting, or
advocating in a case from serving as a case manager and from
advising or assisting the case manager in the same case.

2019 Melbourne Hamfest

                                                                                              ;                                                                   ;

 54th Annual Melbourne Hamfest


ARRL Florida State Convention

sponsored by the

Platinum Coast Amateur Radio Society (PCARS)

Melbourne, Florida

October 11-12, 2019

Friday 1PM – 7PM
Saturday 9AM – 3PM

The Hamfest is Friday and Saturday ONLY!

Melbourne Auditorium

  625 E. Hibiscus Blvd

Melbourne, Florida

Talk in:  W4MLB on 146.85 -600KHz repeater – NO PL Tone

Prizes Every Hour

Major Prize drawing at 2 PM Saturday

Hamfest Table and Ticket Order Form

Auditorium Table Layout

Plenty of Inside Swap Tables

If you have just a few items to sell, PCARS will sell them for you On Consignment.
We will also accept donated items for sale by PCARS

Use this Form to Submit Items on Consignment or Donated Items

Amateur Radio Exams Saturday

Excellent Forums and Meetings

DXCC QSL Card Checking at the ARRL Table

Local Motels and Lodging in the Melbourne Area

Send us your request for more information

Via email to: hamfest@pcars.org

 U.S. Mail to:

PCARS Melbourne Hamfest

P.O. Box 1004

Melbourne , FL 32902-1004

ARES Summer meeting

July 13 @ 11:00 – 12:30
Talkin: 145.330 MHz – W4HEM/R – PL 100.0 Hz.
Date: July 13 Time:11:00 – 12:30
Website: arrlwcf.org
ARRL West Central Florida Section
Website: http://www.arrlwcf.org
Sebring Diner
4040 U.S. 27 South
Sebring, FL 33870
July 13 @ 13:00 – 15:00 TalkIn: 145.330 MHz – W4HEM/R – PL 100.0 Hz.
Time: 13:00 – 15:00
Highlands County EOC
6850 W. George Blvd. Sebring, FL 33875

Update Technician Privileges in a Digital World

ARRL Reply Comments Stress Need to Update Technician Privileges in a Digital World

05/01/2019In reply comments to the FCC (comments on comments already filed) on its Petition for Rule Making (RM-11828), ARRL has stressed that updating HF privileges for the entry-level Technician license “is the sole subject and intent” of the petition. ARRL filed its reply comments on April 29, urging the FCC to disregard comments irrelevant to its petition and maintaining that Technician privileges must be relevant within the context of today’s technological environment.


“[T]he increasingly rapid pace of change in communications technologies, coupled with the national need for self-training in science, technology, engineering, and math” necessitate the rule changes requested, ARRL asserted. “ARRL made its request because of the gap between today’s digital technologies and the privileges accorded the current entry-level Technician license.” ARRL characterized its proposal to update the rules as “balanced and modest.”


“If adopted, there would be no change to the operating privileges for all licenses classes other than those of the Technician class,” ARRL said. ARRL in 2018 asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, and 15 meters. The FCC invited comments on the proposal in April.


ARRL pointed out that some comments filed on its petition address subjects related to other open proceedings rather than expanding Technician privileges, citing comments cross-filed in such proceedings as WT Docket 16-239, RM-11708, RM-11759, and RM-11831. “Those filings should be considered in the proceedings that they address, rather than here,” ARRL said.


ARRL said some opposition appears based on fears of increased interference potential due to additional digital operation by Technicians. “It is improbable that all, or even a majority, of Technician licensees suddenly would develop a passion for the same digital technology,” ARRL said. “Our hope and expectation is that many will engage with digital modes on the high-frequency spectrum at issue, but it is unrealistic to suggest that every Technician licensee blessed with new privileges would suddenly appear on the same band.”


The comments note the development of very efficient digital modes such as FT8, which occupies just 90 Hz of spectrum per signal. “The experience with FT8 clearly demonstrates the attraction of the digital modes and the spectrum efficiencies that can be achieved,” ARRL said. “This is why opening up limited digital opportunities to new radio amateurs so clearly would serve the broad public interest as well as the specific purposes of Amateur Radio in experimentation and innovation, as enumerated in the governing FCC rules.”


ARRL further said that comments regarding disagreement on the definition of encryption for masking the content of certain digital transmissions also are “out of place in this proceeding” and “should not delay initiation of a proceeding” proposing to update Technician privileges.


“Technology has changed dramatically in the Amateur Radio domain, and the ARRL believes the requested Technician license enhancement would foster the regulatory goals for the Amateur Service and continue to increase amateurs’ historical experimentation and service in a meaningful way,” ARRL concluded.

Citrus Tour 2019


The 2019 Citrus Tour will be on May 4th and 5th, 2019.
We are in need of amateur radio volunteers, if you are an amateur radio operator come on out and help us with the event.
This is the closest you can get to emergency communications training, without the emergency.

go to their website for more info




March VE session results

At our monthly club house session two exams were administered.  This resulted in one new Technician license – KD2RPT.  He is in the military and not currently resident in-country.

At the March Hamfest we had one upgrade to General – K4PLL.

Jeff – W2JL
ARRL VEC Liaison

E-Comms Trailer clean up day

Inline image  Inline image

This Saturday 9 am members will be cleaning out the Communications trailer, checking wires & cables,
Testing radios. Doing some upgrades to the power distributions systems as well.
We can always use your help. Come on down to the club house about 9AM
This is a GCARC club event and a good way for you to support your club is to participate in some of these events.
This will prepare the trailer, and the operators, for any upcoming club events or emergency needs.
We hope to see you there.
Benjamin Franklin: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Ben Franklin the inventor of the 160 meter vertical kite antenna…it was a shame they had not invented the radio yet. he would have been 59! 🙂