Topband: Legality of Circumventing Commercial Maritime ISP Services??

Charlie Cunningham charlie-cunningham at
Sat Mar 15 23:37:49 EDT 2014

Well, that is exactly what it's all about, Dan!! 

Some of us need to press those points really hard with FCC and ARRL!  They
are trying to usurp our amateur spectrum for commercial and monetary

And it really IS about the maritime services!! They are wanting to provide
Internet services in the amateur bands for commercial and monetary purposes.

Charlie, K4OTV

-----Original Message-----
From: Topband [mailto:topband-bounces at] On Behalf Of Dan White
Sent: Saturday, March 15, 2014 10:49 PM
To: topband at
Subject: Topband: Legality of Circumventing Commercial Maritime ISP

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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