An anonymous reader writes: In an historic move, the FCC has acted to drop the Morse code requirement for all Amateur Radio license classes. The Commission today adopted a Report and Order (R&O) in WT Docket 05-235. In a break from typical practice, the FCC only issued a public notice at or about the close of business and not the actual Report & Order, so some details — including the effective date of the R&O — remain uncertain. Prior to the long-awaited action on the Morse code issue, Amateur Radio applicants for General and higher class licenses had to pass a 5 WPM Morse code test to operate on HF. The Commission said today's R&O eliminates that requirement for General and Amateur Extra applicants.
"This change eliminates an unnecessary regulatory burden that may discourage current Amateur Radio operators from advancing their skills and participating more fully in the benefits of Amateur Radio," the FCC said. The ARRL had asked the FCC to retain the 5 WPM for Amateur Extra class applicants only. The FCC proposed earlier to drop the requirement across the board, however, and it held to that decision in today's R&O.