The current National Traffic System is comprised of dedicated operators well trained and practiced in the art of traffic handling. They participate in nets at the local, section, region, and area levels 365 days per year.
Yet we cannot ignore reality: the proliferation of low-cost/free telephone calls, text messaging, and the worldwide web means today’s general public has many alternatives to traditional radiograms. As a result, much of today’s NTS traffic consists solely of amateur-to-amateur: “welcome to amateur radio,” “license expiration” etc. In addition, there are serious questions as to the accuracy and reliability of our networks. Finally, it should be noted that some public agencies have never heard of NTS; or, have begun creating their own backup messaging systems.
NTS 2.0 will not supplant the existing National Traffic System. Rather, it seeks to improve and expand upon the ways in which we deliver and originate radiogram messages. It also seeks to restate our purpose to the general public and served agencies.
NTS 2.0 will devise tools and methods to allow our network to expand its current capabilities to provide wide-area message communications services for ARES, SKYWARN, RACES, and other served agencies.
Joint discussions and exercises with other Amateur Radio emergency communications groups, federal, state and local agencies will be an integral component.
NTS 2.0 seeks to create and deploy training programs for traffic handlers and other volunteer leaders as well as to enhance and update volunteer recognition and incentives.
The actual implementation of NTS 2.0 will be the responsibility of the ARRL section field organizations, its leaders, and traffic handlers themselves.