Federal Register

Federal Register Notice: Proposed distribution of scheduled Navigation Safety Messages (Broadcast Notice to Mariners) by mobile and internet methods

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The Coast Guard announced in the Federal Register that it is seeking comments regarding phasing out the process of distributing local broadcast notice to mariners by routine VHF radio broadcasts.

In 2020, the Coast Guard began making broadcast notices to mariners containing locally relevant information accessible by mobile devices and the internet. Previously, the only way to obtain this information in a timely fashion was to tune in to local Coast Guard broadcasts that take place on very high frequency (VHF) marine radio two or more times per day. The new methods of information delivery have included Rich Site Summary, also known as Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds, email, and other means such as map-based filtering. The Coast Guard has received public feedback indicating that mariners prefer the real-time accessibility of mobile and internet access to this information over scheduled VHF broadcasts, because access is more timely, reliable, convenient, and customizable. Also, some mariners have reported that VHF broadcast notice to mariners are bothersome, because they are perceived as unnecessary radio clutter that can be distracting when maneuvering along a dock, in ports or other areas of congested traffic. The Coast Guard is considering phasing out the process of distributing this information by routine VHF radio broadcasts, and is seeking public comment.

Comments must be submitted to the online docket via https://www.regulations.gov on or before August 16, 2021.

You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2020-0187 using the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the supplementary information section for further instructions on submitting comments.

For information about this notice, please call or email Eugene Diotalevi, Coast Guard Navigation Center; telephone: 703-313-5800; email: Eugene.j.diotalevi@uscg.mil.

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