The FCC has finally dropped the Morse Code requirement for obtaining a General and a Extra Class Amateur Radio License. The Report and Order has yet to be issued making it official, but the FCC has given us an early Christmas present in making the annoncement on Friday, December 15, 2006.
Time to start studying for my General. I passed it a year ago but dropped my study of Morse Code when they announced that they would be dropping the code soon. So now I have to pass the General test again. No sweat.
It is my humble opinion that the Morse Code requirement was nothing more than a hazing ritual and was never a proper license in that you were never required to use it after your test. No test was given to prove you could even send Morse Code. Even if you passed a 5 wpm exam on listening to the code, you were chided by older hams who had to pass a 15 wpm test back in the day.
Not that I am against learning the code, I was having fun with it up until I stopped learning it. My point is simply that it was not a proper test or certification. Now, when I have the time and inclination, I can go back to learning the code and enjoy it, instead of struggling with it just to earn the right to talk on HF.
Three cheers for common sense by a government agency.