Weather Service faces Internet bandwidth shortage, proposes limiting key data

Mel Beckman mel at
Thu Dec 10 13:27:44 UTC 2020

Something is stupidly wrong here. From a non-paywallled article (WaPo blocks me from reading its content):


The weather service hosted a public forum on Tuesday to discuss the proposal and answer questions. When asked about the computer infrastructure investments that would be required to keep these limits off, agency officials said a one-time cost of approximately $ 1.5 million could prevent interest rate restrictions. The NOAA budget for fiscal 2020 was $ 5.4 billion.

However, Buchanan stated that the real cost of solving the problem would be higher since the $ 1.5 million would “be just one component of a multi-faceted solution.”

Forum officials also said that management of the weather service was aware of the relatively low cost of solving the problem, but that the agency was facing “competing priorities”.

Buchanan said that dissemination of data is a priority for the weather service’s leadership, but that it is “continually” weighed against others.

When asked if Congress was aware of the agency’s data dissemination challenges, forum officials said they did not know.

Senator Maria Cantwell (Washington), a Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee that oversees NOAA, said a request to upgrade the weather service’s computer infrastructure would likely receive non-partisan support.


This is either some kind of bizarre political maneuver, or bureaucrats at NWS need to be seriously fired and replaced with competent people who‘s tech jobs have been waylaid by Covid.

Obviously it’s a trivial task to fix delivery capacity, if it will only cost  $1.5 million to an agency with a $5.4 billion budget. And how does a 2000-employee agency blow through $5.4 billion a year anyway?

This stinks to high heaven.

-mel via cell

On Dec 10, 2020, at 12:15 AM, Rich Kulawiec <rsk at> wrote:

Weather Service faces Internet bandwidth shortage, proposes limiting key data
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