NTS Methods and Practices Guidelines
Rules and Guidelines regarding the use of SVC".
It is customary to use the letters "SVC" followed
by a space ahead of the message number in a service message. For
some reason this practice has been used less frequently in recent
years, although without justification. Although some argue that
today's best practice omits the "SVC" on service messages, it is
probably fair to say that this is mainly due to the lack of
awareness about this protocol.
The use of "SVC" has been carried forward from earlier years and
clearly identifies messages related to servicing at the point of
delivery or elsewhere, and are a guide to handing stations to
indicate their nature. Since they are related to delivery or handing
of traffic in the forward direction, the use of "SVC" indicates that
there is information contained therein related to the success of the
network function which the originating station should be advised
about in a timely fashion.
Therefore, service messages are generally handled ahead of routine
traffic, seldom require HXG handing instructions, and are delivered
to the station of origin promptly. This becomes critically important
for welfare and priority traffic requiring a service message to be
sent back, regardless of whether the service message is related to
the inability to deliver or is related to confirmation of delivery
and/or handling. It can also be a valuable flag for message centers
operating at served agencies, clearly indicating that the service
message is related to previously sent traffic on our nets, perhaps
requiring immediate action, and not simply a reply or other incoming
Such service messages are sent to the station of origin, not the
individual or agency for which the original message was created and
The precedence of the service message is always the same as that of
the original message being serviced. The message number is assigned
by the servicing station. Since messages may only be forwarded to
another station, delivered to the addressee, or serviced back to the
station of origin, the "SVC" clearly distinguishes messages in the
last category from other traffic.
The use of "SVC" represents a functional protocol with meaning and
purpose for NTS operators (if properly trained), affects the
handling of such messages, and may be critical to the originator
with respect to the success of the original traffic.
Since the NTS Chairs and staff approved carrying forward this
protocol, perhaps we should check our training literature and
methods to make sure operators are aware of its purpose and use.
W3YVQ, MPG Committee
Operating an Amateur Radio Station
(Pamphlet, CD-4, 1/88, p. 15)
"When transmitting a service message, it is customary to indicate
its nature by using the letters "SVC" preceding the number in the
preamble. Service messages should receive the same precedence as the
message they are servicing."
"NOTE: If the message is a SERVICE message, place letters SVC in
front of message number as a leading group (infrequently used
currently). Precedence is kept the same as in the message being
serviced. (See the
section on creating service messages.)
"* SERVICE MESSAGES: The precedence of a SVC message should be the
same as that of the message being serviced. SVC ahead of a message
number indicates a service message sent between stations relative to
message handling, or delivery. Since they affect timely delivery,
they are handled before routine messages. SVC is not a precedence
(See section 1.11)."
"Service messages are originated with the letters "SVC" ahead of the
message number followed by a space, and the precedence of the
service message is kept the same as that of the message being
(This practice is used less frequently in recent
years. Best practice of the day may be leaving off the SVC ahead of
the number for service messages. The precedence is still handled the