The FCC has told an Arizona radio amateur who was granted a vanity call sign within the 2 year waiting period on the basis of being a close relative of the previous holder that the relationship cited was not close enough. The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) on August 26 proposed to modify the license of Joshua A. Babb, W3JB, of Maricopa, Arizona, to reflect his previous call sign, KD7HLX. The prior holder of W3JB, John K. Birch, had died, and the FCC canceled the license on August 17, 2012. Barring exceptions to the 2 year waiting period, this meant the FCC would not accept applications for W3JB until August 18, 2014. Babb applied for W3JB on June 21, 2014, however, indicating that he was Birch’s nephew, and the FCC granted the request on August 8, 2014.
The WTB’s Mobility Division became skeptical, however, since Babb had earlier filed four other vanity applications seeking various “JB” suffix 1 × 2 call signs, including W3JB. All were dismissed, either because they fell within the 2 year waiting period or the FCC had already randomly selected a competing application. Responding to the Bureau’s request to document his relationship to the deceased former holder of W3JB, Babb replied that Birch was his “grandfather’s mother’s brother.”
“Mr Babb’s response to the Division’s inquiry indicates that Mr Birch was his great-great uncle,” the FCC said. “This does not exempt Mr Babb from the 2 year waiting period for call sign W3JB. The exemption applies only to specified close relatives. The relationship claimed by Mr Babb is too distant to qualify.”
The Division concluded that granting Babb the call sign W3JB was improper and proposed that modifying Babb’s license to replace W3JB with KD7HLX, his former call sign, would be appropriate. The WTB will not issue a modification order, however, until Babb has been notified of the proposed action and has had an opportunity to file a protest, which he must do in writing within 30 days.