Rockwell Collins' Urgent Link vs. Amateur Emcomm Digital Operation

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by W6EM, Jun 22, 2020.

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  1. W6EM

    W6EM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Urgent Link is clearly designed to be “another radio service.” As defined by 97.113(a)5, are amateurs “on a regular basis” now restricted from using the Winlink digital network to support public safety agencies?

    It follows that use of Winlink as a means to “support served PS agencies” on a regular, or planned basis may now violate that provision as it will compete with Urgent Link, a commercial service that provides the same thing....

    Of course, this would not effect our “when all else fails” mantra for everything else, but Urgent Link does advertise that it is an FCC authorized digital communications service for just such situations for public safety agencies: when all normal means of infrastructure communications fail....
  2. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Any reading of §97.113 Prohibited transmissions should be done in the context of §97.111 Authorized transmissions.
  3. KA8NCR

    KA8NCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    For decades there have been commercial equivalents of many elements of the amateur service. Keep it up fellas, the FCC just might agree and we'll find ourselves restricted to 5 watt A3E. Whoops, there's already a service for that.
    WQ4G, N1VAU, K0UO and 2 others like this.
  4. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is the second thread on this very topic :rolleyes:
    Cellphones didn't cause the FCC to ban phone patches, lack of use got rid of them. But go ahead and bug the FCC, they'll find lots of things to ban if you bug them enough.
    WA1GXC and K7JEM like this.
  5. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    FCC to Amateur Radio : Don't ask the question if you can't stand the answer.

    Generally good guidance for interacting with any Federal regulatory agency.

    For those of you with too much time on your hands and becoming bored with,
    you may submit a formal request for rules clarification to:

    Donald Stockdale
    Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
    Federal Communications Commission
    445 12th Street SW
    Washington DC 20554

    In accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act, the FCC must respond to
    you in writing within a prescribed time limit.

    Have fun!
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
    KA4DPO likes this.
  6. WA3VJB

    WA3VJB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Where did they park this service? Among allocations for Part 97?
    The corporate webpage says "No radio operator license is required to use an UrgentLink radio."
  7. K7JEM

    K7JEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Operator licenses are not required for part 90 services, but a station license is required.
    KS2G and KA4DPO like this.
  8. WE4E

    WE4E Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This. Right. Here.
    KA4DPO likes this.
  9. W6EM

    W6EM Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, it's not, actually. This one points out that Winlink can now not be used to "support served agencies" on a planned basis. Why? Because, like Sailmail, there IS a commercial service that provides digital services to public safety and public welfare agencies.

    SHARES is a government entity and subdivision of FEMA. FEMA can make its decisions independent of Part 97, since it doesn't involve amateur radio frequencies. This, my friend, is different. ARSFI now is scrambling to sell Winlink Express as some sort of patchwork to avoid all of the planning, etc.

    Enjoy wholesome CW, SSB or AM.
    KB6HPD likes this.
  10. W6EM

    W6EM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello, Paul, it's been a while.

    RC has, according to its literature, a number of HF channels external to the amateur service. They issue user agencies a number of their transceiver units and antennas. The radios utilize ALE, and frequency hop on HF as needed. No special license or HF navigation skill set required for operators. Pretty foolproof and they don't have to wait 3 days for the ARES orange vests to show up with all their gear, only to be missing something like computers, as was the case in Puerto Rico I hear.

    RC wouldn't have invested in this new system if they didn't think it would be useful and pay for itself. And, they made good examples of ARES delays and toe a selling point. FEMA has adopted it. And, I suspect many public safety organizations will as well.

    The amateur service needs to get back to its roots. Not being a 3rd party message system for a bunch of abuse.
    W0FS and NL7W like this.

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