Usually, I don’t pay much attention to Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRMs) by the FCC. But this one—WT Docket 09-209—has got my attenion. The proposed rules would clarify certain rules regarding vanity callsigns and revise the rules applicable to club stations.
It’s the latter that I’m concerned about. The revision would add the following wording to 97.5(b)(2):
After [date reserved], no additional club station license grant will be made to a club whose trustee already holds a club station license grant for that club.
In other words, clubs will only be allowed to hold a single club call sign, unless the club already has more than one, even if there are good reasons to hold more than one club call sign. Our club, for example, has four club call signs:
- W8PGW is our long-held club call sign.
- WC8RC is the call sign we use at our club station at the Washtenaw County Red Cross.
- WA2HOM is the call sign we use at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.
- W8CWN is another call sign that we use occasionally at the Hands-On Museum. This was the call sign of Dr. Richard Crane, one of the founders of the Hands-On Museum, and we requested it to honor Dr. Crane.
None of these callsigns were obtained for frivolous reasons and they all serve a purpose. Should this rule be enacted, however, clubs who have similar operations would be unable to get more than a single club call sign. This sounds like a solution looking for a problem to me.
I urge you to contact the FCC and ask them to strike this from the NPRM. You can make comments in the following ways: via the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via the FCC website. Comments must be submitted by March 26, 2010; reply comments are due no later than April 12, 2010.