On Wednesday morning, June 21, 2023, the FCC had reopened the Universal Licensing System (ULS) and supporting systems, according to an email distributed to VEC organizations. However, as of 4:00 PM on Wednesday, the Electronic Batch Filing (EBF) system, used by VEC organizations for filing exam sessions, individual applications, and club license applications, was still not available as promised. Unfortunately, this means applications for new and upgraded licenses, and individual and club license filings still cannot be uploaded in the system for issuance.
When the EBF system becomes available, the Commission is requesting VECs to limit submissions into the filing system. In an email sent by the FCC, all EBF filers were asked to adhere to a restricted upload schedule in order to keep the EBF system stable and to avoid any potential technical problems. The FCC will be monitoring to ensure the EBF system is stable during this reopening period. If they assess that the upload volume is too high, they will send out another notice with directions to reduce the amount of uploads per hour.
ARRL VEC will comply with the FCC directive, limiting our transmissions but sending as many backlogged sessions as possible without overloading their system. The files will be submitted to the FCC in the order in which they were received, starting with the files from Monday, June 12, and moving forward from there. ARRL VEC will begin submitting the backlogged applications as soon as the EBF system becomes available, and assuming all FCC systems remain stable.
In an FCC notice published on June 21, 2023 (https://www.fcc.gov/document/uls-tcns-e-106-and-asr-available), the Commission provided a deadline extension for filings in the ULS and the Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) system, explaining, “Because parties could not make electronic filings or view the contents of the affected systems while they were unavailable, we are extending the deadlines for all regulatory filings that were due in the affected systems between June 9, 2023, and June 29, 2023, until Friday, June 30, 2023. We note that we have provided for a longer extension for these filings than initially contemplated in the June 13 Public Notice in anticipation of high traffic volumes on these systems in the coming days. In that regard, we encourage filers to consider deferring discretionary filings this week, and we encourage filers preparing large submissions to coordinate in advance with [the] staff of the Bureaus.”