FCC Amateur Radio Statistics

Prior to Aug 99, the statistics listed in this site were derived from an Alpha Test FCC data base made available to the public via Internet. Since the FCC converted to the new Universal Licensing System (ULS) in mid-Aug 99, the statistics programs have had to be rewritten to address the differences between the two database structures. As of this date, this work is not complete and there is no schedule for completion.

Please use this data carefully. Consider the the following points:

  1. ULS differences

    All statistics developed after July 99 are from the ULS system. In some cases that data may not be comparable to earlier figures because of differences in the data structures. In fact it appears that some of the reports that were possible under the old system can no longer be generated from the ULS database, e.g. the VEC statistics, since this information is not maintained within ULS. Also the transaction process is somewhat different so any data on monthly 605 transactions may not be comparable to those for the older 610 form. The transaction recoding method is different.

  2. Reporting Date

    Under the older 610 data this site used to report data for the last day of each month. To do that, the last Sunday of the month's weekly snapshot of the entire database was taken, and merged with daily transactions for the up to six days in the given month following this snapshot. Beginning with the ULS system, all data will be reported only using the last Sunday's copy of the database. This introduces a minor error in a given month's statistics, but viewed over a longer period the error is insignificant. The savings in processing time is significant, and necessary given an almost doubling of the database size since conversion to ULS.

  3. Technician Class

    Technician licenses show almost no monthly expirations. These licenses are less than 10 years old, the current life of an Amateur License. Beginning in March 2001 this class of license will begin reporting its first expirations, as is the case for the other five license classes.

  4. Grace Period

    The data on active stations is computed using the expiration date. The FCC data base includes records for licenses that have expired, but are still within their two year "grace period". Historically FCC statistics have been published including all 12 years of records, thus showing more active amateurs than really existed.

This site shows data only for Jun 97 and thereafter. A delimiter is used in each table to clearly mark the transition between the older 610 based statistics, and the new ULS 605 derived data. Monthly snapshots of the entire FCC database are used to produce the statistics and the information is thought to be "accurate". An effort is being made to update these records monthly to help report on trends in the Amateur Radio Service.

Best 73,

Joe Speroni, AH0A

By Joe Speroni