Below is a statement from the Iditarod Trail Committee Board of Directors with regard to Rule 35, released on October 28, 2016:
“The safety of the race’s competing mushers and their dog teams are and continue to be the top priority of the Iditarod Trail Committee Board of Directors. This rule change involved more than the usual amount of discussion and deliberation over the last eight months, which included a tremendous amount of input from the competitors in this event. We believe that this rule change will result in a safer race and will not alter the excellence in competition of the 2017 Iditarod and beyond.”
Rule 35 – Electronic Devices: A musher may carry and use any two-way communication device(s), including, but not necessarily limited to, a cell and/or satellite telephone. Use of such devices may not be used for any media purposes during the course of the race unless expressly approved in advance by ITC.
A musher may also carry an emergency locator transmitter (ELT), a SpotTM, or other similar satellite tracking device. However, activation of any help or emergency signal, including accidental activation, may make a musher ineligible to continue and may result in an automatic withdrawal from the race. Use of a GPS is also permitted.