NIST: Official response to closure questions

WWV building in Fort Collins, Colorado (photo courtesy: NIST)

I’ve just received the following formal response from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) regarding the President’s NIST FY 2019 budget request:

(Source: NIST)

NIST has a long-standing history of providing time and frequency services through our radio stations and we appreciate that many people use these services.   NIST’s WWV is the longest continuously-operating radio service in the U.S.  At the same time, the proposed NIST budget for FY 2019 required difficult choices about budget priorities.

The President’s full NIST FY 2019 budget request to the Congress is available at the link below, including a brief description of why the shutdown of NIST’s time and frequency radio stations is proposed. The proposal includes shutdown of NIST’s three radio stations, WWV, WWVH, and WWVB, which communicate with consumer clocks, watches, broadcasting systems and other devices. It is important to note that no changes to NIST services have occurred, and if the proposal were to be implemented, public notice would be provided.

http://www.osec.doc.gov/bmi/budget/FY19CBJ/NIST_and_NTIS_FY2019_President’s_Budget_for_508_comp.pdf. See page NIST-25.  

Here is a link to the NIST Budget Table for the FY2019 Presidential Request.

Also, for context, it may be helpful to view links to press releases issued in May and June 2018 by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate Committees on Appropriations about the FY2019 budget process.

House

Senate

This response leaves no room for debate: all three NIST radio stations–WWV, WWVH and WWVB–are included in the proposed cuts.

Of course, we’re following this story closely. Bookmark and check the tag WWV for updates.

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5 thoughts on “NIST: Official response to closure questions

  1. Tom Servo

    What boggles my mind is this proposal isn’t from some politician, but from NIST itself. I would expect few if any Congresscritters to know about the importance of WWVB and friends, but for NIST itself to not recognize the number of receivers that depend on the 60 kHz broadcast, it defies logic.

    “Modern tech” may use GPS and time servers on the internet, but there must be tens of millions of ‘atomic clocks’ out there in the US alone. Nevermind the ones in Mexico and Canada that also depend on that signal.

    Reply
  2. Gordon Treadwell

    Not good We Hams rely on it for things like accurate timming of public service needs and nets. its even used tokeep the world a.in sync with the year. helps with the seasons on keeping that correct on the dates. how can everyone keep an accurate time of the day in their areas. even haarp runs by wwv time so does Nasa and Space-x.. Bad idea closing wwv.

    Reply
  3. Richard Cuff

    The wording that caught my eye: “if the proposal were to be implemented, public notice would be provided.” The wording did not say that public comment would be invited…which is why pushback is important. I’ve contacted my elected representatives, and I’ve also sent faxes to NIST’s director, and the Secretary of Commerce, the Cabinet-level department responsible for NIST.

    Reply
    1. Thomas Post author

      Yes, good point Rich. I was just interviewed by Scott Simon at NPR. He mentioned that they reached out to LaCrosse industries that make a lot of atomic-synced devices. Their response was that there’s no way the NIST would ever cut WWVB. Industry could have a loud voice at least about WWVB.

      Reply

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