Topband: Legality of Circumventing Commercial Maritime ISP Services??

Dan White hdwhite at
Sat Mar 15 22:49:00 EDT 2014

Yachtsmen may be using amateur radio in order to avoid paying the fees 
for more expensive maritime email systems, perhaps such as , which charges an annual vessel fee of $250. 
This is most certainly a "radio service".

Winlink on the other hand, operates under Part 97 of FCC Regulations. 
They market themselves to boat owners for maritime use. See for details.

My question is simple and legitimate. After reading FCC Part 97.113 
which deals with Prohibited Amateur Communications, the rules 
specifically state routine communications are prohibited in cases where 
other radio services are available. Are the yachtsmen using email 
servers operating within our amateur spectrum in compliance with FCC 
Part 97.113?

FCC Part 97.113 a:  No amateur station shall transmit, 
(5)Communications, on a regular basis, which could reasonably be 
furnished alternatively through other radio services.


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