Chapter Ten: Counting Net Traffic
10.1 Net Traffic Count
The basic count for traffic handled in nets is one point for each time a message in standard ARRL form is transmitted and received during a net session, at the direction of the net control station. This has nothing to do with the individual station traffic count. In a net count there is no breakdown of originated, received, sent and delivered traffic as there is for individual stations. The count is the number of message handlings accomplished during the net's directed sessions. This is simple enough, yet there seems to be considerable confusion about it.
A few examples may be helpful:
- Upon conclusion of his directed net, an NCS operator finds that there were 23 messages reported into the net and that 20 of these were "cleared" -- that is, at his direction the messages were transmitted by the station holding them and receipted for by the station receiving them. The total traffic count for this net session was therefore 20. It makes no difference to the total count whether the messages were originals with the transmitting station, whether he is relaying them, whether they are addressed to the receiving station, delivered by the latter or relayed by him. All the net is concerned with is handling them, from one station to the other. Note that the net does not get credit for traffic reported, only for traffic cleared.
- The net control must base his count on the figures reported to him by net stations. Thus, if a station reporting into the net says he has five messages and later succeeds in clearing them at net control's direction, the net gets credit for handling five messages. However, if the net control dispatches this station and the station to receive the messages to a side frequency to clear them, then closes the net five minutes later, the NCS won't know whether the traffic was successfully cleared, or how many were cleared. If he checks with the operators later, he can enter the exact count. Otherwise, knowing the ability of the two operators concerned, he can estimate what proportion of the traffic was cleared. It is not considered ethical to QNY large amounts of traffic just prior to closing a net and then count all such traffic as having been cleared during QND.
- Booked messages may be reported into the net as book traffic while indicating the necessary routing information to the net control station. The practice of counting book traffic as "3 for 1" has been discontinued for both net and individual traffic counts.
Don't waste valuable net time fussing about the count. The important thing is to get the traffic handled!
10.2 Individual Traffic Count
As already mentioned, the individual's traffic count does not have any correlation to the net's traffic count; it is a separate count that each traffic handler should report to his/her Section Traffic Manager or Section Manager each month. Traffic totals may be included in the SM's monthly report. Here are the definitions of each message category:
- Originated -- One point for each message from a third party for sending via your station. This "extra" credit is given for an off-the-air function because of the value of contact with the general public.
- Sent -- Every message sent over the air from your station to another amateur receives a point in this category. Thus, a message that is eligible for an Originated point as above receives another point when it is sent on the air. Likewise, a message that is received on the air conveys a Sent point when it is relayed to another station. A message that you initiate yourself, while it gets no Originated point, gets a Sent point when cleared. All Sent points require on-the-air sending.
- Received -- A message received over the air gets a Received point, whether received for relaying (sending) or for delivery to the addressee. Any message received which is not eligible for a Delivery point (such as one addressed to yourself) is nevertheless eligible for a Received point.
- Delivered -- The act of delivery of a message to a third party receives a point in this category, in addition to a Received point. This is strictly an off-the-air function and must be coupled with receipt of the message at your station. Thus you can't get a Delivered point unless you first get a Received point.