[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 176 (Wednesday, September 11, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47967-47968]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-19675]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

[Docket No. USCG-2019-0702]


Proposed Termination of U.S. Coast Guard Medium Frequency (MF) 
Broadcast of Navigational Telex (NAVTEX) and Shift to Satellite

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Coast Guard may cease broadcasting Navigational Telex 
(NAVTEX) over Medium Frequency (MF) after first ensuring the 
information contained in NAVTEX broadcasts is available via 
International Maritime Organization (IMO) recognized satellite 
services. This notice requests public comment on the possibility of 
terminating the MF NAVTEX broadcast.

DATES: Comments must be submitted to the online docket via http://www.regulations.gov, on or before November 12, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2019- 0702 using the Federal eRulemaking 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 FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information about this document, 
please call or email Derrick Croinex, Chief, Spectrum Management and 
Telecommunications, U.S. Coast Guard (Commandant CG-672); telephone: 
202-475-3551; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Abbreviations

GMDSS Global Maritime Distress and Safety System
IMO International Maritime Organization
MF Medium Frequency
NAVTEX Navigational Telex

[[Page 47968]]

Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments (or related material) on the 
possible termination of the U.S. Coast Guard's broadcast of MF NAVTEX. 
We will consider all submissions received before the comment period 
closes. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for 
this notice, indicate the specific section of this document to which 
each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or 
recommendation.
    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be 
submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate 
instructions. Documents mentioned in this notice, and all public 
comments, are in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and 
can be viewed by following that website's instructions. Additionally, 
if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will 
be notified when comments are posted.
    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted 
without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any 
personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the 
docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal 
Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal 
Register (70 FR 15086).

Discussion

    Navigation Telex (NAVTEX) is an international automated service for 
radio broadcast delivery of navigational and meteorological warnings 
and forecasts, as well as urgent maritime safety information. NAVTEX 
provides a low-cost, automated means of receiving this information 
aboard ships at sea out to approximately 100 nautical miles off shore. 
NAVTEX is part of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System 
(GMDSS) which has been incorporated into the Safety of Life at Sea 
(SOLAS) treaty to which the U.S. is a party. The U.S. Coast Guard 
operates this system nationwide. For more information on MF NAVTEX in 
the U.S., please see the USCG Navigation Center website at https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=NAVTEX.
    The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to cease operating MF NAVTEX and, 
instead making this information available via IMO recognized satellite 
services in waters under U.S. responsibility. The current MF NAVTEX 
equipment is in dire need of replacement. The equipment is antiquated 
and essential replacement parts are difficult to find and expensive, 
placing overall operation of MF NATEX at risk. Any approved GMDSS 
satellite terminal will be able to receive this information. We would 
like comments on this proposal to make the NAVTEX information available 
over satellite.
    We believe the transition from terrestrial broadcast to satellite 
will provide for more reliable delivery of NAVTEX information and allow 
better, more cost-effective products in the future. We also believe 
this change will have a low impact on the maritime public as satellite 
receivers have become more prevalent onboard vessels. However, we would 
like your comments on how you would be affected if we did provide the 
NAVTEX information via satellite, particularly if you use MF NAVTEX and 
do not currently have a GMDSS satellite terminal onboard your vessel. 
We would also like your comments on what types of Maritime Safety 
Information products you would like to see added in the future if we 
did provide the NAVTEX information via satellite.
    Before terminating the broadcast, we will consider comments from 
the public. After considering any comments received, the Coast Guard 
will issue a notice in the Federal Register indicating how the matter 
will be resolved.
    This notice is issued under the authority of 14 U.S.C. 93(a)(16) 
and 5 U.S.C. 552(a).

    Dated: September 5, 2019.
Derrick J. Croinex,
Chief, Spectrum Management and Telecommunication.
[FR Doc. 2019-19675 Filed 9-10-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 9110-04-P