ITU-R redefinition, UTC as a timezone?

Steve Allen sla at
Tue Jul 12 17:32:42 UTC 2011

This list has mentioned that in 2012 January the Radiocommunications
Assembly (RA) will probably vote on a revision of ITU-R TF.460, the
document which defines the time scale used in radio broadcasts, and
thus also in internet time services.  For more details on the
decade-long history of that effort see my web page

As currently worded the draft revision would abandon leap seconds in
the UTC time scale.  Adoption of the draft revision requires a 70%
supermajority vote of the delegates.  In 1970 (the previous instance
of significant change to broadcast time signals) the wording of the
draft was modified during the assembly.

I would like feedback from the members of the tz mail list on the
pros and cons of the applicability of a possible modification of
the broadcast time signals which preserves the traditional meaning
of time-of-day while removing the leap seconds from the broadcasts.
The modification uses the existing zoneinfo database and code.

I have a description and test example of the modification here
This is aimed as an implementation which can be tested now.  If the
ITU-R were to rename the broadcast time scale at the same time as
abandoning leap seconds then it might also serve posterity.

Steve Allen                 <sla at>                WGS-84 (GPS)
UCO/Lick Observatory--ISB   Natural Sciences II, Room 165    Lat  +36.99855
1156 High Street            Voice: +1 831 459 3046           Lng -122.06015
Santa Cruz, CA 95064     Hgt +250 m

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