According to the ARRL, the amateur radio service continues to enjoy brisk growth in the United States:

The ARRL VEC Department reports that 20,447 new US Amateur radio licenses have been issued since January 1. That’s nearly 1500 ahead of the number that had been issued by this time last year. At the present pace, the US is on track to exceed 30,000 new radio amateurs for the third straight year by the end of the year.

But there are those who never seem happy with any success.

  • The FCC has proposed to revise the Amateur Service Part 97 rules in response to the ARRL’s so-called “Symbol Rate” Petition for Rule Making (RM-11708), filed in late 2013, and it has invited comments on its recommended changes.

And then there’s this from the recent ARRL Board Meeting:

  • THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that an ad hoc committee be established to examine the current license exam requirements for the Technician Class license and make recommendations for change, including consideration of a new entry license class, to the Board for possible changes that might be recommended to create a more targeted examination with a more limited set of privileges that would attract a new generation of amateurs.”

A new license class that’s EASIER to obtain with FEWER privileges?

How much easier can it be to obtain an amateur radio license? The current entry-level test is simple, requires only a C+ grade to successfully pass, and is administered in your own home town by local volunteers. The results (30,000 new hams again this year) of the current license structure are self-evident.


I remember when a few business geniuses had this idea to tinker with a very popular and successful recipe — and the result was New Coke

Author: Jeff Davis


1 thought on “Changes”

  1. So let’s compare the population growth with the license growth. And especially look at the demographic spread.

    In our area, I know two hams under 30. I’m pretty sure that every local ARES/RACES member is over 40, with 9x% over 50.

    Hmm, I guess I’ll dig out the numbers and make a blog post. More licenses are good. But nearly everyone I talk to on the air is older than me, and I’m 60.

    I’d guess that the biggest chunk of under-60 hams are Tech licenses from LDS churches. I applaud their focus on emergency preparedness, but that isn’t a strategy for active involvement.

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