IOTA – The future



Those close to it have been anxious to ensure the sustainability of the IOTA programme over the next 50 years and have spent some time reviewing the challenges and opportunities it faces. A number of issues have been identified: firstly, the heavy reliance of the programme on just a few key people; secondly, the need to ensure that IT support for the programme is modern and robust and will include online island credit submission akin to LoTW; and thirdly, a requirement for a friendlier and more accessible website which will be of greater use to both newcomers and the more experienced island chaser.

The review accepted without question that all island and participant databases should be preserved and that any changes should be backwards-compatible. In addition, it was important to seek ways to rejuvenate and ensure the sustainability of the programme. This vision we loosely called “New IOTA”.

Over the summer, one particular pathway began to emerge. It was that of partnership rather than a top-down approach which had characterised some aspects of the programme’s management in the past. The RSGB Board is agreed that the IOTA team should be invited to establish a group to develop and implement the “New IOTA” concept, with the RSGB providing seed-corn finance and other appropriate support. This approach acknowledges that the strength of the programme lies with its national and international participants whom, we are assured, have the motivation, skills and enthusiasm to develop the programme and to promote it to its full potential. This way forward has the full support of the IOTA team and has been welcomed by the wider IOTA community both at home and abroad.

Our initial feedback is best summed up by Don Chamberlain MD, W9DC, who said

“I am excited that the RSGB is combining with IOTA enthusiasts around the world to create a “New IOTA” program. Their efforts will resolve most existing QSL and submission issues and will encourage IOTA chasers to participate in this very prestigious and challenging award.”

Over the next nine months the group will be asked, through a market/user-led approach, to develop a plan for the “New IOTA” programme to embrace management and governance, IT, data management and security, and a review of partnering options and any other relevant topics. It is envisaged that this will lead to a devolved structure, with a Memorandum of Understanding to clearly delineate the responsibilities of all parties.

The Society and the programme’s Management believe that the resulting governance structure, management processes and IT framework will ensure the IOTA programme is not only sustainable into the next years of the 21st century, but continues to grow and play the prominent role that it has done in Amateur Radio DXing and contest activity for the last fifty years.


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Charles M0OXO

I was born in the 1960’s and have lived all my life in the Coal Mining Town of Barnsley in South Yorkshire, Northern England. My parents were all from this area of Yorkshire and my father worked in the main Industry of the local Collieries as a face worker. I have been married to my wife Debbie for 35+ years and we have two children and two grandchildren.

I have been licensed for around 20 years after my interest was re-kindled when I retired from my role as a Police Officer within South Yorkshire Police Force. The latter few years were spent as Radio Operator in the Force Operations Control Room at Sheffield, before my career ended.

IOTA chasing is (and always has been) my real passion, as climbing the ladder to reach Honour Roll status was always my main aim. The 1000 Islands Trophy is still out of reach but I am heading in the right direction. I am currently a Board Member of IOTA Ltd and IREF.

In my free time I am a keen Photographer of Wildlife, Aviation, (anything really) but the QSL Manager role is my main passion within Ham Radio.