This is my response to the ARRL:
I am a member and an accredited VE, I am against this and will be sure to inform the FCC about this if they open it for comment. Part of the incentive to upgrade is the opening of HF to General Class.
As a Technician you start to learn all that theory you learned to pass your exam. Gives you good operating practice. For myself it was in part (a huge part) of why I upgraded to General. Now as a General and have played on HF I’ve noticed that most of the good DX is in the Extra portion of the band. So I’m studying to upgrade again; and once I’m done with getting my Extra I will learn CW.
We have these incentives already in place, do not try to re invent the wheel, de KC1FLG.
The issue that sparked that:
ARRL has asked the FCC to expand HF privileges for Technician licensees to include limited phone privileges on 75, 40, and 15 meters, plus RTTY and digital mode privileges on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters. The FCC has not yet invited public comment on the proposals, which stem from recommendations put forth by the ARRL Board of Directors’ Entry-Level License Committee, which explored various initiatives and gauged member opinions in 2016 and 2017.
This action will enhance the available license operating privileges in what has become the principal entry-level license class in the Amateur Service,” ARRL said in its Petition. “It will attract more newcomers to Amateur Radio, it will result in increased retention of licensees who hold Technician Class licenses, and it will provide an improved incentive for entry-level licensees to increase technical self-training and pursue higher license class achievement and development of communications skills.”
Further thoughts on this (after I submitted my reply) is that the FCC Part 97 Rules specifically 97.1b-97.1d where not taken into account here. This section spells out the incentives in our general purpose.
97.1 Basis and purpose.
The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.
(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.
(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur’s unique ability to enhance international goodwill.
I’ve seen some saying change is good. However change for change sake is not good. Should we just throw out Part 97 Rules and let anyone get on the bands? No! We have a good way of doing things and a good reason too. Leave it as it is!
Having been an active ham and being able to play on HF outside the small window as a Tech (operating at Field Day and at club station) I really got the bug to upgrade. More should be done at the local level. Clubs need to wake up and really encourage their Technicians to further their training.
Part 97.1b-d shows a good reason why we have our incentives. I know my club is getting better at including lower level license in things…the biggest problem we face is we have a membership role of over 150 but it is only ever the same 20/25 people doing anything and Lord forbid you put out a call for volunteer. We should do what was done to us in the service when it came to volunteering!