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Personal Radio Service Rules Update

This week the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed RuleMaking [PDF] proposing to simplify, streamline and update the rules for the Personal Radio Services.

"Personal Radio Service" covers a wide range of short-range, low-power services for personal use, including General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), Family Radio Service (FRS), Radio Control (R/C), Citizens Band radio (CB), 218-219 MHz service, Low Power Radio Service (LPRS-hearing aid, law enforcement tracking, and maritime), Wireless Medical Telemetry (WMTS), Medical Device Radiocommunications Service (MedRadio), Multi-Use-Radio Service (MURS). Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and Dedicated Short Range Communications Service On-Board Units (DSRCS-OBUs).

Some of the possible changes include reducing power for CB radios and forbidding directional antennas, subjecting GMRS handheld radios above a certain power to RF exposure limits, eliminating individual licensing for GMRS, classifying synthesized radios as "crystal controlled," specifying transmitter output power instead of effective radiated power for some services, allowing GPS data transmission on GMRS and FRS, forbidding the obscuring or scrambling of FRS and GMRS communications, and moving to narrow-band (12.5 kHz) spacing.

Comments on this proceeding will be due 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register. An additional 15 days is allowed for reply comments.