[aprssig] APRS, Weather Stations and Net Neutrality

Tony Komljanec tkomljan at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Aug 6 00:12:42 EDT 2008

With all the fuss about ISP's and net neutrality, I'm wondering how that applies to APRS 144.390 digi's and iGates?  
Lately it seems that weather stations are very popular.  Some folks use Wide3-3 every 5 minutes for their reports.  One group went to the trouble of adding a network of a half dozen wx stations in a small geographical area... all of which send a report every minute using Wide2-1.  All of these weather stations are using 144.390 and existing iGates, making mobile operation unreliable and dramatically increasing channel loading.  You all know how Aloha works and how important it is to keep channel loading low.  
Everyone has a desire to practice their hobby at their own pace and ability.  Hence the "Net Neutrality" debate about how an APRS frequency is used.  Is a weather report every minute really necessary?    Going to the trouble of establishing 6+ wx stations but no dedicated iGate for them seems like only half the job.  Trying to educate someone can also be perceived as arrogance or MYOB.  Harsh tactics like adding some weather stations to a "Bud list" (blacklist) to digi's and iGates can backfire.   We can get into discussions with the Wx station folks and try to establish a seperate frequency / iGate for them, but they must have a desire to use it.  
And the guys who attempted to improve mobile coverage by adding iGates and digi's are dissappointed that despite their work, mobile tracking is worse than ever due to channel loading issues.  
What is the general wisdom on wx stations and their operating parameters?  How are weather stations handled in your area?  
Thanks for your insight,

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