The US Federal Communications
Commission has announced plans to withdraw as an international maritime accounting authority registered with the ITU, and end their practice as default accounting authority in the US. This change primarily affects users of Inmarsat terminals (esp Inmarsat C) and those needing to make an HF or VHF
ship-to-shore radiotelephone call.
The FCC had told us they searched their 2016 records, an while there were lots of satellite
users taking advantage of this billing service
, they found no ship-to-shore radiotelephone users. We asked if there were records or ship-to-shore radiotelephone calls prior to 2016 but they were unable to answer that question.
The advantage of having FCC as a default accounting authority was that you didn't need to sign a contract
with them to use it and the service
was free until a call was actually made.
International maritime accounting authorities were established years ago as a way of allowing marine
telephone operators to bill calls from foreign ships. You wouldn't want to read out your credit card information to a marine
operator over the the airwaves! Inmarsat once used this service for billing too but no longer does on newer terminals.
Does anyone still make ship-to-shore radiotelephone calls via a marine operator over VHF
See the FCC announcement in their Daily Digest released today. They will be seeking comments over the next few weeks (comment deadline has not yet been announced):
1998 BIENNIAL REGULATORY REVIEW - REVIEW OF ACCOUNTS SETTLEMENT IN THE MARITIME MOBILE AND MARITIME MOBILE-SATELLITE RADIO
SERVICES AND WITHDRAWAL OF THE COMMISSION AS AN ACCOUNTING AUTHORITY. The Commission proposes to cease operating as an accounting authority for settling accounts for maritime mobile and maritime mobile-satellite radio
services.. (Dkt No. 98-96 ). Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 12/22/2016 by FNPRM. (FCC No. 16-179). IB . Contact Dana Shaffer https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/at...-16-179A1.docx