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US Coast Guard Airs Proposal to End Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) Broadcasts:

from The ARRL Letter on 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 that it may stop broadcasting medium-frequency (MF) Navigational Telex (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 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 gaps exist.

"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 said.


The ARRL Letter

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