David Willetts launches a public dialogue on the importance of precision timekeeping
The international coordinated timescale (UTC) currently requires the periodic addition of leap seconds in order to keep it in sync with the position of the Sun. As this can cause problems for telecommunication networks, there have been proposals to call an end to the practice.
David Willetts has said: “My view is that without leap seconds we will eventually lose the link between time and people’s everyday experience of day and night and this public dialogue will give everyone the opportunity to have their say on this important issue. It will also help to inform our position ahead of next year’s decision on the future of leap seconds.”
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will take a decision in 2015 on whether UTC should continue its alignment with solar time or move to absolute reliance on atomic clocks.
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