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FCC Rejects ‘Vanity’ Ham Petition

ARRL worries about clubs ‘gaming’ the call sign system

The FCC has denied a petition from the American Radio Relay League to tighten the rules for vanity and club call signs.

The ham advocacy organization wanted the commission to impose additional limits on the ability of amateur clubs to obtain multiple licenses and call signs.

The ARRL feels rules adopted in 2010 are insufficient to prevent a club from “gaming” the system. It argued that clubs could use multiple officers to obtain licenses and call signs, especially “vanity” signs. It also argued that individuals could belong to multiple clubs and apply for licenses and call signs in each instance. A depletion of call signs could result from such activity.

The FCC rejected the argument (PDF), saying its new rules were sufficient and that examiners cross-reference applications and therefore prevent such activity.

The commission added in a footnote that no public comments had been filed in response to the ARRL’s petition, filed in January of 2011.