The FCC recently invited public comment on ARRL's 2018 Technician Enhancement Petition for Rule Making (RM-11828). It asks 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. It does not seek to create a new Amateur Radio license class.

Specifically, ARRL proposes to provide present and future Technicians with phone privileges at 3.900 to 4.000 MHz, 7.225 to 7.300 MHz, and 21.350 to 21.450 MHz, and with RTTY and digital privileges in current Technician allocations on 80, 40, 15, and 10 meters.

The FCC has also invited public comment on an entirely unrelatedPetition for Rule Making (RM-11829), filed in 2017 by ARRL member Gary A. Hampton, AD0WU, of Longmont, Colorado. Hampton has asked the FCC to create a new "Tyro" entry-level license class, which would require a minimal online examination as well as mentoring by an Amateur Radio licensee of Technician class or higher. Tyro licensees would have to be at least 11 years old and would earn operating privileges on 99 channels in a 70-centimeter segment that Hampton calls a "TyroSubBand." It would offer no HF privileges.

These are not competing petitions. Members of the Amateur Radio community should evaluate both proposals on their own merits and comment if they desire. ARRL has provided a summary of the Technician Enhancement proposals and explained their advantages.

Interested parties have 30 days to comment on both proposals. For information on how to file comments, visit "How to Comment on FCC Proceedings."