That's only the part of the bill that Accuweather and some of the data banks are mentioning. The bill specifically states that the government would be forbidden from posting weather products that any commercial establishment is "willing" to provide. As noted by man, Accuweather has a premium site that allows its paying members to access. As long as anyone is willing, that's all it's going to take. There was a great thread on Storm2k that Don Sutherland really explained the whole problem. A couple of other people who dissented (such as yourself) were later provided with the actual text of the bill. It's kind of a two part deal: Part 1 is that the government be banned from withholding data. Part 2, the insidious part, bans the government from providing information to the public (except severe stuff) if any commercial provider is willing to release that information under their auspices.
As you and everyone else around here knows, I have been a longtime defender of Bastardi and Accuweather. But I'm boycotting them this year. I wrote them and never heard a word back about their deceptive campaign. Shame on them, but they won't be getting any of my money this season.
Here's the thread which would be very worth your while (and everyone else's) to read and understand. The specific point which I was referencing:
Here is a pertinet exchange between wxmet57 (a professional met) and someone who researched the bill:
The bill looks fine to me. It may prevent the NWS/NHC from witholding valueable data in the future. Seems like the NHC was witholding recon data in recent years until HOURS after it was available to them.
wxmet57: I just don't see what all the fuss is about. No one is going to be prevented from receiving a forecast from the NWS.
x-y-no: Forgive me if I don't just believe that because you assert it. Section 2(b) of the bill is quite clear in saying that NWS may not compete by offering any service or data which could be provided by the private sector unless they can demonstrate that no private entity is willing to provide it. Now go to Accuweather Pro, and see just how much territory that covers. Along with forecasts, they have sattelite imagery, radar imagery, model output, etc. all things many of us here use on a daily basis free from NOAA. Now, by the plain wording of the bill, the government must stop offering those things since Accuweather has manifestly demonstrated the willingness to provide them.
The bill says that data shall be supplied through " a set of data portals designed for volume access by commercial providers of products or services" - it doesn't say anything about continuing to provide such data to the public, even though we've paid for it.
Also, the bill repeals 15 U.S.C. 313. I suggest you look that up and tell me deleting this from the law will have no effect.
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