We've been trying to understand what the real, practical impact there will be, if any, from the Federal Communications
Commission announced plans to withdraw as an ITU-recognized accounting authority discussed earlier here: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f13/fcc-plans-to-withdraw-as-accounting-authority-affects-ship-to-shore-comms-billing-177776.html
. After many discussions with Inmarsat, the FCC and with private accounting authorities I think we have a clearer understanding of the impact.
All users of legacy Inmarsat terminals must have commissioned them with a contracted ITU-recognized accounting authority, necessary to handle telecommunications billing when calls are made through an earth station not owned by Inmarsat. Now that Inmarsat B, mini-M and M services have ended, only the Sat-C and Fleet series terminals are affected. Apparently all US accounting authorities except FCC
require some sort of a annual telecomm services contract
to be in place before they can be used in commissioning as an accounting authority. Since Sat-C terminals are often owned without an annual contract
, those terminals are most likely to be affected.
If you use an Inmarsat terminal for safety
purposes only, with the intent not to accrue any charges except in an emergency
, you likely have a Sat-C terminal commissioned with FCC as accounting authority (AAIC US01) and you are affected. Sat-C terminals are used without charge for distress
alerting and for receipt of maritime safety
information broadcasts (i.e. SafetyNET). They are also used to meet IMO-mandated requirements for global maritime distress
and safety (GMDSS), long range identification and tracking (LRIT) and for ship security
alerting system (SSAS) piracy
alerts. If you don't have an annual telecommunications contract for your Sat-C you are likely affected.
If your Sat-C was commissioned with accounting authority US01, your terminals will likely be barred once FCC withdraws as accounting authority unless the terminal is re-commissioned with a new contracted private accounting authority such as Inmarsat, COMSAT or MacKay. (We're trying to find out whether barring occurs immediately after FCC withdraws or only after a telecoms charge is incurred). FCC has told thus they will attempt to contact affected users prior to withdrawing.
FCC is seeking comments on their planned withdrawal until March 14th. Comments can be filed electronically at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/
; enter "98-96" under "specify proceeding".
US Coast Guard