This article was an April Fool’s prank.
In a proposal that aims to make new changes to the Amateur Radio Service, the USA regulator FCC introduces the idea of having a digital modes practical test as part of the amateur radio examination.
This follows a series of public consultations aimed at “making Ham Radio great again”, where the FCC has asked amateur radio clubs and organisations how to improve the Amateur Radio Service. One of the more popular answers were related to bringing back the practical CW skills requirement, but after looking at actual amateur radio bands usage officials decided FT8 will be the most important skill for the next generation of hams.
The test will apply to all future examinations for Tech, General or Extra classes. Extra class license holders as well as current holders of vanity call signs will have to take the FT8 proficiency test periodically to ensure the level of competence necessary to operate in the amateur radio bands.
The proposal also includes other significant changes, like lowering spurious emissions requirements for handhelds that cost less than US$35 and introducing fines for inaccurate RST reports.