Op-Ed: My Open Letter To The FCC

Dear FCC,

Due to recent changes with vanity callsigns fees, There will be an increase of applications for cancelled 1X2 and 2X1 callsigns (N1ZZ NZ1Z for example) and other vanities now that it’s free to apply. It’s already difficult to obtain the short 1X2 or 2X1 callsigns. With the recent changes, it will make it much harder. Currently any licensed amateur with the appropriate class can apply for these short callsigns no matter what district they are located in. If multiple applications are submitted for a recently available call, the application is put in competition with the others and an application is chosen at random to receive the call. I would like to suggest that if there is a competition for a callsign, those who applied in the same district as the requested call have preference over those who are applying that reside outside the district.

For example a 1×2 or 2×1 callsign that has a number 1 in call becomes available and multiple people apply for it. Currently someone located within the 6th district can apply and possibly obtain the call while someone who is located in the 1st district can lose out. I feel that it should be assigned to someone within the district since they are currently living within it. If there were no applications in competition from anyone within the district as the callsign became available, then it should be up for grabs by anyone regardless of district.

Thank you,
Jeffrey Bail – NT1K

Before I got NT1K, I applied for a couple 1X2 callsigns that are in my District, I also have fellow operators doing the same thing. However most applications are awarded to those outside of district. It was upsetting to find out that I lost out on a callsign to someone located in a different call area. It’s also upsetting to lose out on a callsign that was awarded to someone who already has a short callsign. It’s even more upsetting when they have a short callsign and live in different district. I’m just asking that those located within the call area or district have preference if there is competing applications.  If no one within the district applied than it go to whomever applies first.

This is just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Thanks for reading,


8 thoughts on “Op-Ed: My Open Letter To The FCC”

  1. Apparently the FCC was losing too much money refunding application fees to the unsuccessful applicants. I didn’t realize they refunded the money — I wonder how many people applied for call signs knowing it wouldn’t cost them anything (meaning the problem’s not going to get too much worse).

    It’s probably way too late for regional restrictions. Those that still exist (KP4, KH6, KL7, etc) can be gamed by having a friend who will accept mail for you. Look how many US call signs have been assigned to people who have never been to the US. So preference for the “local” may not work the way you expect.

    1. It’s not too late. It will never be too late. We have to start somewhere. No out of district call sign assignments, unless you move.

  2. An amateur should be limited to a lifetime limit of 5 callsigns. 4 sequential from Group D to Group A and one vanity call. No more callsigns for any reason. No buyers remorse, no exception ever. Period. 5 callsigns. 6 callsigns or more in a lifetime, they should lose their license for life for being callsign hoarders, what ever the sad sack excuses given.

    1. Brutal, but I like it and agree 100%. I’ve only ever had one call, for 14 years I’ve been KI6AMK.
      I passed the extra class exam in September and waited until November to apply for a 1×2 or 2×1 call. I wanted something easier to bang out in Morse code.
      When I get it, that’s the one they’ll bury me with.

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