Discussion on the new Amateur and GMRS License Fees

On March 23, 2022, the FCC released the effective date of the new application fees for amateur and GMRS operator licenses. In this episode of the podcast, we talk about the original proposal to change the fees, discuss the frustration from some radio users over the timeline for implementing them, and question why it took so long for the new fees to take effect.

As always, you can leave a comment here, and if we read it on a future episode, you could be eligible for a free t-shirt or some swag!

TWRS-166 - New Amateur and GMRS License Fees

Show Notes:

It is interesting how you talked about the prima Donnas on GMRS complaining about how others are using the GMRS airwaves and affecting their “hobby”. Those people should go ahead and get their amateur licenses as they will fit right in. I’ve been a ham for a bunch of years and I hear more of that kind of thing from hams on the air than on GMRS. I used to think it was the old guys that treated people like that but some one always takes their place. Now I am the old guy and I only use the amateur bands like a utility. The fun got sucked out of the hobby over the last 20 or so years. I’m ok with that. You find this in every activity where there are more than 1 person participating. Having said all of that I realize I am part of the problem. At least I know that i don’t always play well with others. Thanks for the podcast!


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As a retired Broadcast Engineer, I definitely know the technical side of 2 way radio communication services. I’ve had friends who’ve had ham licenses for literally decades. They’ve tried their best to get me to become one. So far, I’ve managed to resist the temptation! Lol
My MAJOR complaint with the “hobby” is it’s lack of substance. Listen to any ham communication, as an observer, and you immediately come away with this thought. Other than the constant rattling off of each ham’s call sign, what is the takeaway from their conversation? Usually, NOTHING‼️Other than a very brief mention of signal strength, and maybe, but not often, their type of antenna, the back-and-forth of the conversation has ZERO content and value‼️

I am embracing GMRS as a communication tool. It has some value as a means of communicating conversation, particularly in areas with limited on no cell service. I can see it being a valuable tool for a fisherman on a rural lake. Extremely useful in a boating emergency, as just one example.
As someone who spent their entire life dealing with electronics, talking about it as a ham radio enthusiast, is definitely NOT my “cup-of-tea❗️

Listening to the above 2-way radio podcast, I think the gentlemen made some excellent points regarding GMRS. I agree that some “hams” may even transition to GMRS just to get away from the boredom of amateur radio.

People always say this, but for many hams, the challenge is making the contact and that was the same when I passed my test in 1980 - I quite liked the quick chat and bye, and do it again. Like contests, the ultimate waste of time. Conversations are rarely interesting - one person rambles on, and the other party totally ignores it and does their own rambling, which gets ignored and you move on. It’s a bot like collecting stamps - you never actually post a letter with them, just collect and collect. Many collected QSO cards, but I never bothered. Some computerise their logbooks and tell you you last made contact with them on 4th March 1992 at 2.30. There are other hams who still switch on a certain channel on a certain day each or week and talk to the same set of people about the same set of experiences. This is the world of ham radio. Chatting about sensible stuff is possible on any system, but not guaranteed.

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Update 4/19/20221 9:42 AM EDT - A notice on the FCC website says the ULS is down for “scheduled maintenance”. According to comments on our blog and in social media, such a notice has been up and down since at least 2 AM.

Effective Tuesday, April 19, 2022 from 6:00 AM to Tuesday, April 19, 11:00 AM: Universal Licensing System (ULS) System Down for Scheduled Maintenance

Another notice does acknowledge the new fees are currently active.

New Application Fees Effective April 19, 2022

System: Universal Licensing System (ULS)

April 19, 2022, New Application Fees have been implemented. Please reference Wireless Telecommunications Fee Guide for fees related to applications filed in ULS. Please reference DA 22-307.