FEB. 15 — Following months of public comment, the Coast Guard will continue broadcasting high-frequency offshore weather forecasts for single-sideband voice, facsimile charts and text messages over radiotelex.
According to a press release, the Coast Guard said its decision was based on the positive response to the public comment request made last April on whether the forecasts should continue.
The agency had said that the infrastructure necessary to provide these services had exceeded its life expectancy, and significant costs were involved to continue offering them.
“The responding public collectively perceives that the USCG HF broadcasts are essential to their safety,” read a Coast Guard statement. “There is no viable alternative to the USCG HF broadcasts because present alternatives are perceived by the public to be out of financial reach. Also, marine weather forecasts available through these alternative sources may not guarantee the same level of accuracy, timeliness and/or sufficiency as provided by the USCG HF broadcasts.”
While the Coast Guard reports it does not have the funds to replace all of its HF transmitters, it will be able to replace the 20 transmitters used for weather broadcasts. The final report is posted on the Coast Guard Navigation Center Web site at www.navcen.uscg.gov.
— Elizabeth Ellis