[aprssig] Igate traffic flow query

Chris Moulding chrism at crosscountrywireless.net
Thu May 29 03:53:37 EDT 2014

Some months back I had some interesting discussions with Steve Morton 
G8SFR who checks APRS igate NOV (Notice of Variation) applications for 
the RSGB. I gave him an update on the latest APRS use and techniques and 
he gave me an update on the legal position for UK radio amateurs and 
APRS igates.

In the Communications Act 2003 there is provision for the licensing of 
interconnections between communication providers i.e. cellular networks, 
PSTN, internet service providers etc. These providers pay a substantial 
licence fee to the UK government for the right to interconnect their 

When the Communications Act was made law amateur radio as a potential 
service or provider was forgotten and not included within the law. Now 
that UK amateurs can connect amateur radio traffic to the internet we 
come under the Act and strictly speaking the internet service provider 
should refuse permission to accept the amateur radio traffic if asked.

The NOV is a typical British fudge to give radio amateurs the "right" to 
send amateur radio traffic to the internet. Without this UK amateurs run 
the risk of prosecution under the Communications Act if they connect 
amateur radio traffic to the internet. I would recommend that all UK 
igate operators apply for a NOV even for receive only igates.

The definition of amateur radio traffic is interesting. As APRS contains 
amateur radio callsigns it can be readily identified as amateur radio 
traffic. The data from the WebSDR receivers I run doesn't contain 
callsigns so cannot be identified as amateur radio traffic.


Chris, G4HYG

Chris Moulding
Cross Country Wireless
7 Thirlmere Grove, Bolton, Lancs, BL4 0QB, UK
Tel/fax:     +44(0)1204 410626
Mobile:      +44(0)7752 391908
Website:     http://www.crosscountrywireless.net
Yahoo group: http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/cross_country_wireless/

On 29/05/14 00:47, Steve Dimse wrote:
> This is something you need to discuss with someone familiar with UK radio law. In the US, amateur radio transmission are placed in the public domain, essentially allowing anyone to do anything with them, including sending them to an internet aggregator.

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