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FCC Proposes Radical Changes to GMRS!

The Latest [9/21/2010]:

To view a list of the comments and the replies which others have filed, go to http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/. In the “ECFS Main Links” menu box, click on “Search for Filings”. Then, in the “Proceeding Number” box, enter: "10-119". Finally, click on the "Search for Comments" box at the bottom of that menu. (That will produce a list of both comments and reply comments, in reverse chronological filing order.)

The deadline for submitting reply comments has now [9/20/2010] ended, and the replies are now being posted. Nine replies have come in so far. (There were 240 comments.) (It may take a day or so for Commission staff to finish processing the backlog.) We recommend that you look at reply filings from PRSG and by Randy Knowles. In the PRSG comments, we criticize Uniden for failing to understand the need for "plain language" monitoring. We also criticize Garmin for openly marketing (and then bragging about selling) GMRS transceivers to the U.S. Secret Service and for use by state and local police for surveillance communications.



There were 240 comments submitted, a fair number for an FCC Docket that received so little publicity from the FCC itself. The FCC files are in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format, so you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader or an equivalent software program to read them.

Of the earlier comments, we recommend that you look at the submissions filed by PRSG, by Randy Knowles, and by Benn Kobb. The first two address proposals in the NPRM. Kobb addresses procedural irregularities which create questions about whether or not the FCC should even proceed with this Notice.

We also recommend that you look at the submission filed by Garmin. This is a frightening and outrageous promotion by Garmin for GMRS frequencies to be used for police surveillance communications. Garmin would have us (and the FCC) believe that all these police officers would obtain their own GMRS licenses (and reveal their identities, mailing addresses, etc., in the FCC licensing database), that they would identify on the air in plain language by their FCC callsigns, and that they would share these channels with "civilians."

And Garmin feels no guilt or embarrassment about their position. Indeed, they brag about it!



On June 8, 2010, the FCC released a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" (NPRM) that proposed major (and, we believe, harmful) changes to the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS).

On August 4, 2010, the Federal Register (finally) published the Notice of Proposed Rule Making. That publication started a 30-day period within which the public could submit comments to the Notice. That period for public commenting closed on Friday, September 3.

But it's not too late to reply to what others have submitted. The close of the period to submit a reply is Monday, September 20, 2010.

Get a synopsis of the NPRM directly from the Federal Register

You can get the entire NPRM (not just a synopsis) directly from the FCC

(This is actually the more easily readable and complete version!)

Understand what's at stake

We offer two articles to help you understand the NPRM and help you file your comments.

Both are simple text files for use on any computer:

In the Fee Conundrum article, we discuss the public confusion surrounding the issues of GMRS license term limits and GMRS licensing fees. Adoption of a 10-year GMRS licensing term (which the FCC has proposed in the NPRM) without a change in the fee structure (the FCC has proposed no such change!) would bring the cost of a new or renewed GMRS license to more than $100!

To join a special YahooGroups list for further discussions of the issues involved and for automatic email announcements about the status of the NPRM and its filing deadlines, send an email to WT-10-119-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

Repeater Guide

News, Products and Services
for Licensees in and Users of the
General Mobile (GMRS) and
Family Radio Services (FRS), and
the new Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS)

Quick Links: GMRS Info | Repeater Guide | Newsletter
PRSG Info | Literature | Repeater Management | Licensing
FCC Rules | Family Radio | Multi Use Radio | Links Elsewhere

What's New?    (Last Updated: September 21, 2010)


  >>  What is the GMRS?

GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) is a UHF personal radio service allocated 8 frequency pairs and 7 non-paired frequencies in the 462 MHz and 467 MHz bands. Click here for a more detailed description.

The FCC has recently proposed significant changes to this service. Click on the What's New Link above for the latest information.

  >>  What is the PRSG (Personal Radio Steering Group)?

PRSG (Personal Radio Steering Group) is a national advocacy organization for personal licensees in the General Mobile Radio Service and users in the Family and Multi Use Radio Services. Click here for a more detailed description of the PRSG.

  >>  What literature and services are available from the PRSG?

PRSG has an extensive library and list of current publications and an annotated list of archival publications.

  >>  What is the GMRS National Repeater Guide?

The Guide described each of the some 3500 GMRS repeaters in the US in the late 1990s, and provided contact information about their licensees. Although now out of date, the identity of local contacts and sponsors can be a useful starting point in learning more about your current local operations.

  >>  What is the Personal Radio Exchange (or PRE)?

The PRE was the PRSG's national subscription newsletter. It was the medium through which we distributed or announced our publications and services, and was the primary source for PRSG financing. We have now ceased distribution of a printed newsletter, but we plan to begin distribution of an electronic version shortly.

  >>  How does someone license for GMRS?

PRSG gets more questions about GMRS licensing than about any other subject. With the implementation of the "Universal Licensing System" (ULS), the FCC has now changed the entire licensing process. The public may now file GMRS applications electronically. Visit our licensing page for further details.

  >>  What are the FCC Rules for GMRS?

The rules for the GMRS, for the FRS (Family Radio Service), and for the MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service) are available for online review and downloading.

The FCC has recently (June 2010) proposed major changes in the GMRS rules that would especially impact GMRS repeater users.

For the latest information, follow our "What's New?" link.

  >>  What are "repeater management" issues?

A number of "repeater management" issues face GMRS repeater operators and users, and are likely to be the subject of changes in FCC Rules in the near future. In addition, many GMRS repeater operators have questions or are looking for answers to problems they encounter in administering their stations.

  >>  What is the Family Radio Service (FRS)?

The Family Radio Service (FRS) is an unlicensed, low-power radio service that operates on frequencies shared with or in between other GMRS frequencies. The FCC permits certain types of data communications.

  >>  What is the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS)?

The Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) is an unlicensed, five-channel personal radio service implemented in Fall 2000 in the VHF 150 MHz band. It uses low-power handheld and vehicular radios on frequencies formerly available only for licensed business and commercial operations. The PRSG Web site has extensive information about the MURS, its technical specifications, and its operating rules.

For the latest information, follow our "What's New?" link.

  >>  What are links to other sites

We have posted links to certain other selected sites of potential interest to GMRS licensees and FRS users. We have chosen these sites because of their unique or innovative contributions.


Quick Links: GMRS Info | Repeater Guide | Newsletter | PRSG Info | Literature | Licensing
Repeater Management | FCC Rules | Family Radio | Multi Use Radio | What's New? | Links Elsewhere

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