RAYNET is the national body, Thanet Raynet covers the Isle of Thanet county borders. RAYNET, a voluntary organisation comprising groups of Radio Amateurs who volunteer their time, knowledge and equipment to assist local authorities, Police, Fire, Ambulance and other services with a back-up communications facility.
RAYNET was formed following the East Coast Floods Disaster in 1953, when Radio Amateurs provided emergency communications. At the time, under the terms of the UK Amateur Licence, Radio Amateurs’ were not permitted to pass such messages for third parties. However, agreement was subsequently reached with the licensing authorities to allow the handling of such third party messages, and the Amateur Licence duly amended. Amateurs now pass message-traffic whilst operating on behalf of what are called the “User Services”.
RAYNET members are volunteers and give freely of their time and use their own equipment to provide communications assistance at local events such as fun runs, marathons, car rallies and similar public events. Participation by RAYNET in these activities provides both a service to the community and the organisers, as well as providing useful training opportunities for the RAYNET members.