When cell phones, regular phones, the internet and other systems are down or overloaded, Amateur Radio still gets the message through. Radio amateurs, often called “hams,” enjoy radio technology as a hobby. But it's also a service –a vital service that has saved lives when regular communication systems failed. The source of the name ham is not known but it has been around almost from the beginning of amateur radio radio in the early 1900s. The name amateur has nothing to do with skill or knowledge but rather implies that ham radio cannot be used for commercial or revenue generating purposes. It is truly a hobby but often one that makes a difference especially in emergency or disaster situations.
While license application requirements vary by country, the Amateur Radio Service is also controlled by international law and agreements because radio waves do not stop for international borders. In its regulations (Part 97), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recognizes the ability of the hobby not only to advance radio communication and technical skills, but also to enhance international goodwill.
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