The FCC is Back in Business, UPDATED

From a bulletin posted by the ARRL:

“The ARRL VEC now is awaiting word that it can transmit the some 2,300 pending Amateur Radio applications it has in the queue, many of them from 325 ARRL VEC examination sessions that took place during the shutdown or immediately prior to it. These do not include files that the other 13 VECs may be waiting to upload to the Universal Licensing System (ULS).”

Callsigns that showed up on Monday were showing as nonexistent on Wednesday. It seemed that the FCC may have been working out some kinks in the system, or drowning in the deluge of submissions.

I later found a bulletin that advised they’d be performing maintenance Thursday morning on the ULS platform. I also stumbled across a post on a ham radio Facebook group that they were able to look up their license application by FRN, despite the rest of the site being down.

I had recommended that my brother sign up for an FRN number before his test to make it easier to watch for his callsign; something another had recommended that I do when I was ready for my tech license. Following the path outlined in that post, I found Josh was assigned KC1KTX – a very cool call that rolls off the tongue in both letter form and phonetic. It was 10:30 PM when I called him, dragged him out of bed to his truck to “hear something important on the radio.” I called him by his callsign, “KC1KTX KC1KTX, this is KC1JMH… Josh, are you there?”  …”Nooo”, still on the phone..”Yes, aren’t you going to answer?” We had a short QSO, agreed to meet on the air after work the next day, and I let him go to bed. I hope his YL doesn’t shoot me.

This morning, it appears to be up, and friends and family who had tested on the third got their callsigns and upgrades.

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