Marine link
 

Telecommunications Act Clears Way For GMDSS Implementation

On February 8, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act, which provides for a broad deregulation of telephone and cable television services.

A less publicized provision of the act also resolves an impasse which has placed U.S.-flag commercial vessels at a competitive disadvantage relative to foreign counterparts.The IMO has implemented a major upgrade to the radiocommunications provisions of the Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Convention referred to as the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), which discontinues the use of manual Morse radiotelegraphy and instead relies on systems such as Inmarsat maritime satellite systems, and provides for modernization — including automation - of existing medium frequency (MF), high frequency (HF) and very high frequency (VHF) services used in maritime service.

GMDSS has been in effect since 1992, under a transitional period during which time ships may utilize either system.

While the compliance deadline for oceangoing ships over 300 tons is May 1999, many GMDSS ships of other nations have been sailing since 1992 without the radiotelegraphy facilities of the earlier SOLAS treaty.

U.S.-flag ships, on the other hand, have been granted only near-coastal exemptions from the radiotelegraphy requirements since the FCC could not waive those provisions of the Communications Act of 1934.

For this reason, there has been no economic incentive for early conversion, and few U.S. ships have outfitted for GMDSS operation. According to USCG sources, the new Telecommunications Act states that U.S. ships operating in accordance with the GMDSS "shall not be required to be equipped with a radio telegraphy station operated by one or more radio officers or operators." This is expected to resolve the impasse and enable U.S. ships to operate on the same basis as the rest of the world fleet. The procedures for providing this relief have not yet been announced, but ships cannot discontinue radiotelegraphy services until the FCC has amended Part 80 of its rules, or until receiving individual exemptions. The USCG has formed a GMDSS Implementation Task Force in order to accelerate domestic outfitting of the communications systems, and has addressed issues such as operator training, commercial vessel outfitting, recreational vessel awareness, and the needs of service agents and equipment manufacturers.




Ship Electronics History

CHINA: Its role in world trade and shipping
Construction Of Disney Magic Begins At Fincantiori
Containership Project Prospects Look Good
Cruise Ship And Ferry Costs In The 90s
Cruise Ship Segment Once Again Recipient Of Good News, Orders
CTR Looks To Build An Instant Floot, Calling For 59 Ships In Four Yoars
Disney Brings Magic To The Seas
Eletson Signs letter Of Intent To Build Tankers At Newport News
Hudson Steamship Completes ISM Audit
IMO Further Amends SOLAS
Ingalls Ship Named In Honor Of World War II Hero
ISDP Offers Software For Ship Design And Production
M o b i l e Docking A i d System for Ships
Making Ends Meet: Juggling With Finances Can Help Shipowners Achieve Profitability
Merged STN Atlas Elektronik Exhibits Extensive Range Of Products At SMM '94
NASSCO To Build Two More Sealift Ships For $436 M
Navatek And Lockheed Team Up On SWATH Ship Design
NEWPORT NEWS: Tackling The Commercial Market With New Product Tanker Design
NNS Wins $65 M Contract For Submarine Work
Non-Metalli( Bearings Handle Big Loads on Self-Unloading Barges
Proteus Engineering Releases New VisualSMP Seakeeping Softwan
SMI Delivers Shreveport Rose
Tanker Technology:A Look At The Yards
Techno Superliner Prototype Hits 54 Knots During Tests
The Future Of Safety-At-Sea
The Outlook For U.S. Shipbuilding
The Tanker Market: Which Way Is Up?
Tonnage Losses Up Substantially 1st Qtr
Trinity's Halter Marine Wins $47.2 M For Navy Oceanographic Ship
U.S. Navy Christens And Launches Trinity-Built Oceanographic Ships
 
rss feeds | archive | privacy | history | articles | contributors | top news | contact us | about us | copyright