[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 225 (Friday, November 20, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 74361-74362]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-25605]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

[Docket No. USCG-2020-0668]


Monitoring of Certain High Frequency, Voice-Distress Frequencies

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to cease monitoring four, 
High Frequency (HF) voice distress frequencies within the contiguous 
United States and Hawaii because they are rarely used. We would 
continue to monitor HF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) distress 
alerting for all existing regions and voice distress and hailing from 
Kodiak, Alaska and Guam. We invite your comments on this proposed 
action.

DATES: Comments must be submitted to the online docket via http://www.regulations.gov, on or before January 19, 2021.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2020-0668 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://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 Russell Levin, Communications Specialist, Spectrum 
Management and Communications Policy, U.S. Coast Guard (Commandant CG-
672); telephone: 202-475-3555; email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Abbreviations

HF High Frequency
DSC Digital Selective Call
kHz Kilohertz

Public Participation and Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments (or related material) on the 
possible termination of voice monitoring of four, HF-voice-distress 
frequencies within the contiguous United States and Hawaii. We will 
consider all submissions received during the comment period. If you 
submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice, and 
provide a reason for each of your suggestions or recommendations.
    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. All public comments will be placed 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 
submissions in response to this document, see DHS's eRulemaking System 
of Records notice (85 FR 14226, March 11, 2020).

Discussion

    The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to cease monitoring four, HF-
voice-distress frequencies in the contiguous United States and Hawaii 
due to the lack of activity on these frequencies. During a 6-year 
period, there were four potential distress calls heard over these four 
voice frequencies; none required a Coast Guard response. These four 
voice frequencies, which we propose to cease monitoring in the 
contiguous United States and Hawaii, are: 4125 kHz; 6215 kHz; 8291 kHz; 
and 12290 kHz.
    Monitoring of HF DSC frequencies for all existing regions and voice 
distress and hailing from Kodiak, Alaska and Guam would not be affected 
by this proposed action. There would also be no change in service to 
Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, or American Samoa since these U.S. 
territories do not currently have HF infrastructure.
    We believe this change would have a low impact on the maritime 
public as commercial satellite radios and DSC-marine-Single-Sideband HF 
radios have become more prevalent onboard vessels.

[[Page 74362]]

However, we would like your comments on how you would be affected if we 
terminated monitoring HF-voice-only distress frequencies within the 
contiguous United States and Hawaii, particularly if you use HF, but do 
not currently have a commercial satellite radio or a HF DSC capable 
radio aboard your vessel.
    We will consider all comments in response to this notice before 
deciding whether to terminate the monitoring of these HF voice-only 
distress frequencies within the contiguous United States and Hawaii. 
After considering comments received, the Coast Guard will issue a 
notice in the Federal Register indicating what course of action it has 
decided to take. This notice is issued under the authority of 14 U.S.C. 
504(a)(16) and 5 U.S.C. 552(a).

    Dated: November 16, 2020.
J.L. Ulcek,
Chief, Spectrum Management and Communications Policy.
[FR Doc. 2020-25605 Filed 11-19-20; 8:45 am]
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