The long discussion in this blog , pretty much covers the range of opinion. That range is pretty much 99% opposed, 1% in favor of making it illegal for the National Weather Service to transmit feeds of the data it collects and forcasts it makes unless it’s a weather emergency. This is because the authors of the bill believe that this is something that the private sector should do and of course be able to make money at. They have more difficulty doing that when the government is providing the data for free.
Naturally this is supported by Weather.com and Accuweather, the later of which is located in the bill sponor’s home state. Opposed is nearly everybody else. The blog comes from a private company that makes money repackaging the feeds from the government. They sell ads, and offer an add free subscription option that I have taken up for the last three years.
I think the bill is just another attempt by weak minded politicians and business people who look to make their money by squeezing the profits out of the existing competivie landscape rather than my outperforming the competition with innovative ideas, better skills, better service or new ideas that competitors haven’t come up with. A bill like this is the last thing America needs to support where innovation should be our emphasis rather than eliminating competition. Having a central source of basically raw weather data that everybody can use, and over which commerical pressures do not come into play is just good common sense. For me as a skier, I love the fact that private weather hobbyists, or academics, or professional weather people who love skiing will take the data and put a nordic skiing spin on the weather. Having a single network of data reporting and disemination of the data is by far the most efficient way to allow unique services to be built on top of the information. If this data was private, I would have to convince Weather.com to build a nordic oriented web site with all the unique details skiers and wax techs are interested in, and based on the numbers, it just wouldn’t happen.</p?
Fortunately, opinion is wildly against this from what I can tell. That won’t stop me from writing some of the Senators involved.