[aprssig] internet -> APRS, and universal messaging

jimlux jimlux at earthlink.net
Mon Oct 20 09:49:40 EDT 2008

I think one of the concerns, beyond the "third party traffic" 
legalities, is that with such a capability ham radio would be straying 
into an area that is more properly the area of other radio services.

There's that general provision in Part 97 that says ham radio should not 
be used as a replacement for another service.  If you're just trying to 
do text messages, then there's another service that does that already 
(actually several services.. phone, paging, maritime, etc.)

Ask yourself which of the 5 reasons for ham radio in 97.1 that this 
proposed universal messaging fits within:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to 
the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, 
particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

--- hmm, it's voluntary, there's a small risk of commercial (beyond the 
typical "order a pizza on the autopatch" question), certainly, emcomm 
can use short messages, but, one should really ask, is there a better 
way, and do the emcomm folks already have a licensed service to use (yes 
to both)

(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to 
contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

--- here's it pretty clear.. as long as you're developing something new, 
you're meeting the intent of amateur radio. Are you developing something 
new and novel? (or just duplicating an existing capability)

(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules 
which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and 
technical phases of the art.

--- To me, this one just means that's why the amateur service has a few 
"thou shalt not" rules and no "thou shalt", as opposed to the more 
stringently regulated services.  This provides a way to experiment with 
new stuff (to help meet 97.1(b)).

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service 
of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

--- well, I think there's plenty of text messaging operators out there.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to 
enhance international goodwill.

--- good question here.

jim, w6rmk

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