The is very important for several reason. Should our government or terrorists succeed in pulling the plug on the internet and cellphones, etc. amateur (ham) radio operators would still be able to communicate with each other locally and around the world. In many cases such as natural disasters ham radio is the only form of communication available.
The newest trend in American communication isn't another smartphone from Apple or Google but one of the elder statesmen of communication: Ham radio licenses are at an all time high, with over 700,000 licenses in the United States, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
Ham radio first took the nation by storm nearly a hundred years ago. Last month the FCC logged 700,314 licenses, with nearly 40,000 new ones in the last five years. Compare that with 2005 when only 662,600 people hammed it up and you'll see why the American Radio Relay League -- the authority on all things ham -- is calling it a "golden age." (continue at Fox News)
As most readers at Right Truth know, hubby and I are long time amateur radio operators. We lived in Hawaii when a devastating hurricane came through. For several days amateur radio was the only means of communication to the mainland United States.
One disturbing thought on the expanding numbers of amateur radio operators is that there have been reports of suspected terror suspects having amateur radio study manuals in their possession. Anyone who studies, learns, passes the FCC exams can obtain a license to operate.
Amateur Radio is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Communications Act of 1934. It is also subject to numerous international agreements. All Amateur Radio operators must be licensed. In the US there are three license classes—Technician, General and Extra. Each successive level of license comes with an expansion of privileges. [snip]
... Call the ARRL’s toll-free number at 1-888-277-5289 and request an informational Amateur Radio prospect package. (ARRL)
- The entry-level license, known as Technician Class, is awarded after an applicant successfully completes a 35-question multiple choice written examination. The license grants full operating privileges on all amateur bands above 30 MHz and limited privileges in portions of the high frequency (HF) bands.
- The next level, known as General Class, requires passage of the Technician test, as well as a 35-question multiple-choice General exam. General class licensees are granted privileges on portions of all amateur bands, and have access to over 83% of all amateur HF bandwidth. However some band segments often used for long distance contacts are not included.
- The top US license class is Amateur Extra Class. This license requires the same tests as General plus a 50-question multiple-choice theory exam. Those with Amateur Extra licenses are granted all privileges on all US amateur bands. (Wikipedia)
Amateur radio will be celebrating 100 years since it's establishment in 1912.
One final note, amateur radio (ham) is NOT CB radio, citizens band, as in '10-4 good buddy'. Anyone can purchase and use a CB radio - a system of short-distance radio communications between individuals on a selection of 40 channels within the 27-MHz (11 m) band. Citizens' Band is distinct from the FRS, GMRS, MURS and amateur ("ham") radio.