US Coast Guard Airs Proposal to End Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) Broadcasts:
The ARRL Letter
October 10, 2019
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US Coast Guard Airs Proposal to End MF Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) Broadcasts:
The US Coast Guard is seeking comments on a proposal
https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCG-2019-0702-0001 that it
may stop broadcasting medium-frequency (MF) Navigational Telex (NAVTEX
https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=NAVTEX). The service says it
first will ensure that the information contained in NAVTEX broadcasts
is available via International Maritime Organization-recognized
satellite services. Interested parties may submit comments online
http://www.regulations.gov/ by November 12. The proposal is docket
USCG-2019-0702. Comments should include the docket number, specific
section of the document to which each comment applies, and a reason for
each suggestion or recommendation. Comments may be anonymous.
"Current MF NAVTEX equipment is in dire need of replacement. The
equipment is antiquated, and essential replacement parts are difficult
to find and expensive, placing overall operation of MF NATEX at risk,"
the Coast Guard said. "Any approved GMDSS satellite terminal will be
able to receive this information."
NAVTEX is an international automated service for radio delivery of
navigational and meteorological warnings and forecasts, as well as
urgent maritime safety information. It provides a low-cost means of
broadcasting this information to ships out to approximately 100
nautical miles offshore. NAVTEX is part of the Global Maritime Distress
and Safety System (GMDSS) which has been incorporated into the Safety
of Life at Sea (SOLAS) treaty, to which the US is a party. The US Coast
Guard operates the system nationwide.
System coverage is reasonably continuous in the east, west, and Gulf
coasts of the US, as well as the area around Kodiak, Alaska; Guam, and
Puerto Rico. The US has no coverage in the Great Lakes, although
coverage of much of the Lakes is provided by the Canadian Coast Guard.
The US Coast Guard originally only installed NAVTEX at sites where
Morse code messages had been previously transmitted, and some coverage
"We believe the transition from terrestrial broadcast to satellite will
provide for more reliable delivery of NAVTEX information and allow
better, more cost-effective products in the future," the Coast Guard
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