[aprssig] Igate traffic flow query

Nick G4IRX g4irx9 at nowindows.net
Thu May 29 05:28:54 CDT 2014

Thanks for this insight Chris.

On 29/05/2014 08:53, Chris Moulding wrote:
> 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.
I read a post on this subject that you posted to the Raynet forum a few 
months back quoting Steve G8SFR.

> 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 services.
> 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.

This something that I was unaware of. I was looking at this from the 
point of relaying third-party traffic where something was gated to the 
internet might re-appear on RF somewhere else hence trying to gain an 
understanding of how APRS-IS gates traffic from/to RF.  Yes, ISPs could 
refuse amateur radio traffic but then any traffic sent over the internet 
can easily be encrypted at the tunnel endpoints, as any other VPN 
traffic is.

> 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.
After reading your earlier post I submitted a NOV application. I have to 
say that the process was fairly quick but the application seems to be a 
one-size-fits-all form such as the requirement for closedown ops even if 
you say you will only operate the station when in attendance.

> 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.

Nick G4IRX.

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