[LEAPSECS] ITU-R SG7 to consider UTC on October 4

Nero Imhard nimh at pipe.nl
Thu Aug 5 20:22:17 EDT 2010

Rob Seaman wrote:

> The simplest and most direct (and most likely to succeed) way to

> achieve a goal of removing leap seconds from civil timekeeping would

> be to advocate GPS timekeeping as the alternative.

I don't see how it could be achieved. It's a matter of control. The
definition of UTC is something the ITU supposedly has influence over, but
the definition of civil (or legal) time in country X certainly isn't.

I assume that they have concluded that fulfilling the requirement to use
civil would be easier without leap seconds. So, instead of asking every
government on the planet to use another time scale for civil time, it is
much easier for ITU to excercise their control over the time scale
currently used by the vast majority of countries and just fix it from
their own end.

My question is: does this UN agency, acting in the interest of the
telecommunications world only, actually have the authority to change the
definition of UTC (which is in use for other purposes as well), and, if
yes, does anyone see how such a horror could be fixed?

I say "horror" because fundamentally changing a definition (as is proposed
for UTC) feels like some kind of betrayal, a serious scientific sin, a
demonstration of unreliability, and contempt for anyone who ever has based
any decisions on the original definition. Obviously "being a reliable and
dependable shepherd of UTC" isn't in the interest of the current shepherd,
so something needs to change here. But what exactly and how?


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