The FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS) electronic batch filing (EBF) system was working for a brief window of time yesterday after being down since Friday November 13. Some files were processed through the system Wednesday, but the FCC is having a problem processing all VEC license and examination session files today. ARRL VEC Manager Maria Somma, AB1FM, said her office again had to alert the FCC IT staff, which are said to be looking into the issue but did not estimate how long the system would be down. Somma said it was the third time the EBF system has gone down since late September, when the FCC said a process had stopped running on an FCC server.
The FCC doesn’t have a long term fix in place yet and it appears the same issue is happening again with more frequency. The amateur community should expect delays in exam license processing until the FCC can get this resolved. The FCC apologizes for the continued inconvenience this is causing the community.
“We transmit the exam sessions to FCC as soon as possible, which is usually 24 to 48 hours from the day received in our office,” Somma said. “We make every effort to process each session quickly and efficiently while following FCC rules. Unless there is missing candidate information or paperwork, we normally aim to send the session to the FCC within a few days, because most of the VEC staff understands what it feels like to wait for your call sign to be issued.”
Somma expressed the hope that applicants and VEs will be understanding and patient while the FCC resolves the problem that has been delaying the processing of applications.