W3BE'S BE Informed!
 
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 W3BE-O-GRAMS

In places where the Federal Communications Commission is our regulator, the rules for our amateur radio and amateur-satellite radio services are codified within the United States Code of Federal Regulations Title 47. They reside primarily in Part 97 with Parts 0, 1, 2, 17, and 214 also containing rules that apply to us. The current edition can be viewed online via the e-CFR. This website contains a series of questions and answers concerning those rules and their applications.   

   Our rules are not catalogues of harsh restrictions. Rather, they are first and foremost permissions resulting from statutes, environmental precautions, international agreements, and countless rule making proceedings.

   Our somewhat awkward amateur services communications protocols stem from 19th century wireline telegrapher practices. They place heavy reliance upon there being a knowledgeable - and highly cooperating – Section 97.105 control operator at every station. Each of these control operators must observe generally accepted good practices such as to make self-enforcement predominantly sufficient. During the 20th century, the rules were adapted as needed to accommodate emerging radio technology. The 21st century promises smarter radio technology that should enable relaxation of that traditional dependence upon cooperative human instincts.

   Our regulator currently expects our United States amateur service community to utilize our allocated spectrum as an alternative to the commercial communications infrastructure impacted by an emergency. The rules still make it possible for amateurs - they are our duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest - to carry out self-training, intercommunications, and technical investigations. Our contemporary amateur service community, however, seems to be more intent on transitioning to a social media where members of the general public intercommunicate by making radio contacts.

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File amateur radio interference complaint with the FCC: CLICK

Get Your Own HAM CALL SIGN!

   The quickest, easiest, and inexpensive way is to memorize the VEs' questions and the VECs' answers in BE Informed No. 2.9.1 W3BE's NOTES - Get Your Call Sign. Take/retake the free on-line practice examinations until you pass consistently. Then visit a VE session for a license examination.  

Read the Rules - Heed the Rules!

  Our ham radio is an internationally recognized hobby. It is comprised of millions of amateur operators worldwide who must know how to cause or allow their amateur stations to transmit properly. We utilize electromagnetic radiation technology that knows no political borders. We are, consequently, subject to wide ranging domestic and international regulation. A working knowledge of the relevant rules is essential to not endangering ourselves, our families, or our neighbors; and to not disrupting other radio communications.

What are the penalties for violating the rules?

   (a) If the FCC finds that you have willfully or repeatedly violated the Communications Act or the FCC Rules, you may have to pay as much as $10,000 for each violation, up to a total of $75,000. (See Section 503(b) of the Communications Act.)

   (b) If the FCC finds that you have violated any section of the Communications Act or the FCC Rules, you may be ordered to stop whatever action caused the violation. (See Section 312(b) of the Communications Act.)

   (c) If a Federal court finds that you have willfully and knowingly violated any FCC Rule, you may be fined up to $500 for each day you committed the violation. (See Section 502 of the Communications Act.)

   (d) If a Federal court finds that you have willfully and knowingly violated any provision of the Communications Act, you may be fined up to $10,000, or you may be imprisoned for one year, or both. (See Section 501 of the Communications Act.)

[48 FR 24890, June 3, 1983, as amended at 57 FR 40343, Sept. 3, 1992]

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   ABOUT THIS SITE

   It is is free-to-use. 

   Should you receive a solicitation for this website, it is a scam!

   There is no speculation on whether or not you might get away with something.

    Nothing herein is sold or offered for sale.

    No e-mail, postal mail or telephone calls, please.

   Thanks to everyone who posed the questions and to those insightful hams who provided answers, advice, views, details, editing, encouragement, and other kinds of support in making this website possible. 

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