FCC drops Morse code requirement from amateur radio license

The FCC Dec. 15 dropped a rule that had required amateur radio operators to pass an exam demonstrating a five-word-per-minute proficiency in Morse code to qualify for a General or Amateur Extra license.

According to the commission, the change reflects revisions to international radio regulations made at the International Telecommunication Union’s 2003 World Radio Conference (WRC-03), authorizing each country to determine whether or not to require individuals to demonstrate Morse code proficiency to qualify for an amateur radio license with transmitting privileges on frequencies below 30MHz.

The commission also eliminated existing distinctions between amateur radio Technician Class licensees and Technician Plus Class licensees.

Many broadcast engineers first became interested in broadcasting from their experience in amateur radio. Many large broadcast industry conventions often hold receptions and other activities for broadcasters who continue to pursue amateur radio as a hobby.

For more information, visit: www.fcc.gov.