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[aprssig] Broadcasting?

Steve Dimse steve at dimse.com
Wed Aug 3 03:14:56 UTC 2005


On Aug 2, 2005, at 9:46 PM, A.J. Farmer (AJ3U) wrote:

> Shortly after the Air France crash today, a station sent out an  
> APRS message addressed to "ALL" that said (paraphrasing from  
> memory) "Air France crash in Toronto, 200 feared dead".  While I  
> thought this was an interesting thing to know, it had me wondering  
> if the message was breaking the rules.
>
> If you brought up the local repeater and just blurted out the same  
> type of "breaking news" message intended for anyone listening, I  
> think it would be considered broadcasting.  It definitely was not a  
> message that would be "of interest to the Amateur community only"  
> which is supposed to be one of the broadcasting litmus tests.

Where do you get this? The definition of broadcasting in Part 97 is:

"Broadcasting. Transmissions intended for reception by the general  
public, either direct or relayed."

I see no mention of the content of the message there. Even a two- 
meter voice repeater is not the general public.

The other rule people commonly blame APRS as violating is the one-way  
rule, and at first glance it might seem that this is a one-way  
transmission. Weather and position data qualify as telemetry and  
therefore may be one-way. Messages between two APRS stations are  
clearly legal under the Message Forwarding System rule. My opinion is  
that even the message to ALL is legal under this rule, as the rule  
states the message is sent by the "control operator of an originating  
station to the control operator of one or more destination stations  
by one or more forwarding stations". It is the "or more" that makes  
this legal...

If you aren't swayed by this, one of the specific exceptions to the  
one-way rule is "Transmissions necessary to disseminate information  
bulletins", and again there is no content limitation associated with  
this.

Steve K4HG




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