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TUCoPS :: Radio :: 102_nprm.txt

Objections to Tandy's proposal for partial delicencing of GMRS




                           FCC Proposes to Create
                         the "Family Radio Service"

                    New Service Would Delicense Some GMRS
                  Spectrum, Would Cause Havoc for Repeaters

                                 August 1995


In July 1994, Tandy Corporation (the parent company of  Radio Shack)
petitioned the FCC to create a new low-power, unlicensed "Family Radio
Service" by reallocating spectrum currently available exclusively for the
General Mobile Radio Service.  In their comments filed opposing this petition
(RM-8489), GMRS users unanimously opposed delicensing GMRS spectrum, including
creating a new unlicensed service on GMRS channels.

GMRS users documented prior FCC refusals to mix licensed and unlicensed
services, and described other technical problems with the FRS request that
would substantially disrupt current and future GMRS operations.

Rejecting these protests, the FCC has now decided to proceed with creating
this new unlicensed service in GMRS spectrum, and has issued a Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking.  The NPRM is printed in its entirety below, with PRSG
commentary shown by a vertical bar (|) at the beginning of each line.

The public has until October 2, 1995 to submit comments on this NPRM.  An
accompanying publication, "How to Comment on the FCC's `Family Radio Service'
Proposal," describes how you can participate in this important FCC
consideration.

==============================================================================


                                  Before the
                        Federal Communications Commission
                              Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of

Amendment of Part 95 of the Commission's Rules )
to Establish a very short distance two-way     )  WT Docket No. 95-102
voice radio service                            )         RM-8499

                          NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE MAKING

Adopted: June 22. 1995
Released: August 2, 1995

Comment Date: October 2, 1995
Reply Comment Date: October 16, 1995

By the Commission:

                               I. INTRODUCTION

1. In this Notice of Proposed Rule Making (Notice), we propose to establish a
very short distance, unlicensed, two-way voice radio service in the Ultra High
Frequency (UHF) portion of the radio spectrum by amending the rules for the
Personal Radio Services (47 C.F.R. Part 95). This proceeding was initiated by
a petition for rule making (petition), RM-8499, filed by the Radio Shack
Division of Tandy Corporation (Tandy), on July 20, 1994. [1]

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   The concept that the FRS would be a "very short distance" radio service
|   in based on the misconception that communications range can be limited
|   primarily by TRANSMITTER POWER.  As GMRS users are well aware,
|   transmitter power is less important than ANTENNA HEIGHT in determining
|   communications range.
|   
|   Most GMRS licensees use handheld radios that transmit with only one to
|   two watts, barely more than that proposed for the FRS.  That minimal
|   power difference means that the actual performance of FRS transmitters
|   will be similar to many GMRS ones.  This lack of clear differentiation in
|   operating performance will blur any claimed distinction between the two
|   services, and increase the confusion between them.

2. Tandy states that there is a burgeoning public demand for an affordable and
convenient means of direct, short-range, two-way voice communication among
small groups of persons. [2] It requests that we authorize fourteen UHF
channels for a new service which it calls the Family Radio Service (FRS). It
would share seven General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) channels that are not
used for repeater operation as well as utilize seven channels that are located
between certain GMRS channels. [3] Motorola and the Telecommunications
Industry Association (TIA) filed comments supporting the petition, while the
Personal Radio Steering Group (PRSG), representing users of the GMRS, and a
number of GMRS licensees filed comments in opposition.

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   The phrase "small groups of persons" is used several times in the NPRM,
|   and reflects a basic DECEPTION perpetrated by Tandy, and now by the FCC
|   as well.
|   
|   In a landmark 1988 rulemaking, the FCC established that the GMRS should
|   be a radio service for PERSONAL AND FAMILY COMMUNICATIONS, and should not
|   be considered "the OTHER business radio service."  Up to that time, GMRS
|   was being overrun by users and uses that were more appropriate in the
|   other private land mobile radio services.  The FCC had already given
|   these services their own spectrum, including most of the spectrum (96%)
|   that had originally belonged to the GMRS!
|   
|   (PRSG subscribers already have a copy of that important 1988 FCC
|   rulemaking.  It was included with the copy of the FCC Rules, titled "FCC
|   Discussion of the Changes in the New GMRS Rules."  The PRSG recommends
|   that you review this publication.  In footnote 2 of the FRS NPRM, the FCC
|   even reiterates this intended family orientation.)

                               II. DISCUSSION

3. In its petition, Tandy identifies a need by small groups of persons such as
families for a good quality voice radio communication service having a very
short range. The group members would use palm size radio units to communicate
while on outings, such as visiting shopping malls and amusement parks,
attending sporting events, camping, and taking part in other recreational
activities. [4] Tandy states that many persons could benefit from such a
service, particularly for personal security, due to the low cost of the units
and their communication capability. [5] Other commenters agree there is an
unmet need for a low cost, flexible, consumer grade radio communication
alternative. [6]

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   Tandy's characterization of this new radio service as a "family" radio
|   service is inherently DECEPTIVE. GMRS already IS a FAMILY radio service. 
|   This is what the change in licensing eligibility back in 1988 was all
|   about.
|   
|   Instead, Tandy requested that a portion of the GMRS be DELICENSED. 
|   Licensing is the means by which the FCC, in ALL radio services, not just
|   the GMRS, controls who can and cannot use what spectrum, and for what
|   purposes.  Tandy pushed for delicensing for two reasons:
|   
|      1) to eliminate the alleged block to greater radio sales that it
|      argues is caused by the complexity of the current licensing process;
|      and,
|   
|      2) to open up GMRS again for NON-personal and NON-family
|      communications.
|   
|   If Tandy really wanted to provide for low-cost PERSONAL AND FAMILY
|   communications, then it should instead support the PRSG's efforts to
|   retain but to SIMPLIFY the licensing process.
|   
|   If Tandy wants to sell radios to organizations and entities, then it
|   should address that market specifically, and not dump on GMRS, the
|   intended FAMILY radio service.

4. Tandy envisions that such a Family Radio Service would use hand-held units
transmitting a frequency modulation emission type. It says a service
structured this way can meet the communications needs of small groups of
individuals in a myriad of situations. [7] Tandy requests [8] that the units
be authorized to transmit, on a secondary shared basis, on the seven GMRS
lowpower non-repeater channels. [9] It also requests that FRS units be
authorized to transmit on seven other channels, each located midway between
the eight GMRS repeater transmitting channels. [10] Based on tests it has
done, Tandy has determined that a maximum power of only one-half watt is
adequate to provide good communications quality over a very short range, and
that transmissions made at this very low power level will preclude
interference potential to other stations. [11]

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   The FCC's reference in the fourth sentence of this paragraph shows its
|   confusion or ignorance about the implications of even very low-power
|   operation on the 467 MHz interstitial frequencies.  The 467 MHz
|   interstitials are not located between repeater TRANSMITTING channels, but
|   between repeater RECEIVING channels.
|   
|   Tandy alleges to have conducted tests that showed that transmissions
|   restricted to the half-watt level would PRECLUDE interference to other
|   stations.  However, Tandy failed to explain how transmissions OVERLAPPING
|   the 467 MHz repeater INPUT frequencies could avoid causing interference
|   to such stations, which receive signals from low-power handheld
|   transmitters on the primary channels.

5. The Personal Radio Steering Group (PRSG), representing users of the GMRS,
and REACT International, Inc., request that FRS be authorized on channels
other than GMRS channels. [12] The PRSG states that mixing licensed and
unlicensed users on the same channels is unworkable, and requests that the
Commission continue to reserve the unused interstitial channels for future
GMRS use. [l3] Michael C. Trahos, a GMRS licensee, contends that use of the
proposed channels will risk interference to GMRS systems. [14] Tandy filed
reply comments reiterating the benefits of its proposed service and noting
support from TIA and Motorola.

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   Neither Tandy (in its REPLY COMMENTS to its own PETITION) nor the FCC (in
|   this NPRM) has admitted to or addressed the interference to repeaters
|   about which the PRSG, Trahos, and many others cautioned in their
|   respective comments to Tandy's petition.
|   
|   Nor did either propose directly how to solve the problem of mixing
|   licensed and unlicensed users on the same frequencies.  The FCC has
|   previously found that such mixing is intolerable. For example, in the
|   late 1970s the FCC changed the spectrum available for use by "kiddie
|   talkies" from the 27 MHz channels allocated to the then-licensed Citizens
|   Band Radio Service, to new channels in the 49 MHz band.  Even Tandy was a
|   major supporter of that action separating licensed and unlicensed use!

6. Motorola and the TIA agree there is a need for a low cost unlicensed very
short distance two-way voice radio service, [15] and that technical standards
can be crafted to adequately protect GMRS systems. [16] Motorola argues that
Tandy's proposal is the proper compromise between a low cost sophisticated
two-way radio service that provides greater service reliability than the
Citizens Band (CB) Radio Service [17] and a complex service that would require
more regulatory oversight. [18] TIA says that consumer acceptable radios will
have to provide selective calling. [19] Motorola states that the bandwidth of
the transmissions should be limited to 12.5 kHz. [20]

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   In supporting the concept of an unlicensed, very short range two-way
|   voice radio service, neither Motorola nor the TIA explained why the
|   EXISTING low-power, unlicensed, very short range radio services
|   (including the Part 15 devices at 49 MHz, and the Part 95 [CB]
|   transceivers at 27 MHz) would not be adequate, possibly with some changes
|   in the technical regulations.
|   
|   Although both Motorola and TIA alluded to problems of antenna size for
|   transceivers in the 27 MHz and 49 MHz bands, neither explained why a new
|   FRS would not be more appropriate in the higher Part 15 bands, where such
|   unlicensed use is already permitted (although there are no models
|   currently available). For instance, the Part 15 bands at 902 MHz and 2.4
|   GHz would be a suitable alternative, and antenna size is certainly not a
|   problem.  The communications range at these frequencies is truly very
|   short, and signals can more easily penetrate buildings and structures. 
|   Other new and innovative services are being implemented in these bands,
|   and could share spectrum with personal communications devices.
|   
|   TIA's claim "that technical standards for the FRS can be crafted to
|   protect adequately GMRS systems" reveals either a phenomenal ignorance of
|   the impact that OVERLAPPING 467 MHz interstitial operations will have on
|   GMRS repeaters, or an attempt to conceal or to misrepresent this
|   destructive impact.  Moreover, the FCC has proposed very few "technical
|   standards" for FRS.  PRSG will recommend substantive standards that could
|   reduce the threat to GMRS. Nevertheless, the best way to avoid the
|   problems would be for the FCC to abandon this railroaded NPRM altogether,
|   and propose entirely different spectrum for the FRS.

7. The petition and the comments make a convincing argument as to the need for
a good quality very short range unlicensed voice radio communications service
for use by small groups. [21] We believe that this service would provide most
small groups, such as families, friends, and associates, with good quality
voice communications over a range of a few city blocks. It would facilitate
activities around the home, at group outings, and at group activities where
members become separated, either planned or inadvertently. It would also be
useful to hunters, campers, hikers, bicyclists, and other outdoor activity
enthusiasts. It appears that technology can make such a service very
convenient to use and widely affordable. [22] Further, it would create new
jobs as well as provide more choices for consumers. We propose, therefore, to
amend the rules to establish a Family Radio Service.

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   The estimated cost of the FRS units is in the $100 to $150 range. That is
|   nearly comparable to what many GMRS radios cost today. Clearly, the issue
|   is not the COST of the radio.
|   
|   Nor is the issue the complexity or inconvenience of obtaining the
|   license.  The PRSG agrees that the GMRS licensing process, long tied to
|   some cumbersome and complicated procedures more appropriate for the other
|   private land mobile radio services, and now processed on a completely
|   different application form, need to be simplified.  PRSG staff have made
|   numerous presentations to FCC staff about how to simplify and reduce the
|   costs of licensing.  FCC staff members in charge of GMRS are largely
|   unsympathetic with the problems experienced by users of this service, and
|   none of these constructive solutions were adopted.
|   
|   If the issue is not the potentially lower cost and not the potentially
|   simplified licensing procedure, then what IS the issue?
|   
|   The issue, we believe, is that Tandy et al. want to DELICENSE a portion
|   of the GMRS, to remove the beneficial protections and accountability that
|   the licensing process should provide.
|   
|   This process of delicensing the GMRS is what the Tandy Petition, and now
|   the NPRM, is really all about. Certain elements of the communications
|   industry want to dismantle the existing procedures, operating
|   capabilities, and eligibility restrictions in the GMRS, and to turn its
|   spectrum instead into a new "UHF Citizens Band."  Indeed, as discussed
|   below, the FCC incorporates this reference to a "UHF Citizens Band" into
|   the NPRM!

8. Each channel would be usable simultaneously by many millions of small
groups throughout the country. The technical standards proposed by Tandy
should provide good quality communications over a range of approximately one
kilometer. A number of factors, however, limit the interference potential of
these units. First, there is the line-of-sight propagation characteristic of
frequencies in the UHF domain. Next, simple antennas that are an integral part
of the unit together with its very low transmitter power will further restrict
its range. Another feature is the capture effect provided by FM emission
types. [23] We agree that selective calling [24] would help enable this
service to co-exist with the GMRS as well as make it possible for user groups
to enjoy a modicum of privacy.

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   The NPRM's claim that numerous factors limit the interference potential
|   of these FRS units is without basis in fact.
|   
|   FIRST, any 460 MHz communications system that would provide good
|   unit-to-unit, line-of-sight communications over the range of up to a
|   kilometer would SUBSTANTIALLY INTERFERE with conventional base stations
|   (receiving at 462 MHz) and repeater stations (receiving at 467 MHz) with
|   their higher antennas.  The 12.5 KHz separation from the GMRS primary
|   channels would be entirely INSUFFICIENT because the technology employed
|   has an emission envelope (including deviation level, significant audio
|   sidebands, and frequency stability) of 18 to 20 KHz.
|   
|   The interstitial channels are not just "in between" channels, but
|   OVERLAPPING ones!
|   
|   When PRSG first proposed non-repeater use of the 462 MHz interstitial
|   channels, this interference was acceptable because most stations
|   RECEIVING on the interstitial frequencies in this band would be
|   surface-level mobile (vehicular or portable) stations.  The interference
|   potential would be further minimized by allowing the operator to switch
|   to any other interstitial frequency.
|   
|   The important point here: The operator of the station RECEIVING
|   interference could (and presumably, would) change channels to minimize
|   this interference.
|   
|   But the situation is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT in the 467 MHz band.  ALL>
|   stations receiving signals on the conventional frequencies are REPEATERS,
|   with antennas usually located at high elevations to provide extended
|   coverage for low-power handheld transceivers.  If use of the overlapping
|   467 MHz interstitial frequencies were to be permitted, the repeater
|   stations SUFFERING interference would not be able to change channels. 
|   Furthermore, the stations CAUSING interference would be totally unaware
|   of the situation (and in an unlicensed service, totally unmotivated to
|   change to alternative frequencies).
|   
|   Therefore, FRS operation on the overlapping 467 MHz interstitial
|   frequencies would be EXTREMELY DISRUPTIVE to repeater receivers.  The
|   stations being interfered with would be unable to change channels.  The
|   stations CAUSING the interference would be unaware of their impact, and
|   would have no particular motivation to change channels.
|   
|   In short, the use of the overlapping 467 MHz interstitial frequencies by
|   FRS transmitters is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE to the GMRS repeater user
|   community.
|   
|   SECOND, the suggestion that simple, integral antennas ALONE would reduce
|   the interference potential, especially to repeaters receiving in the 467
|   MHz band, is INVALID.  Interference is determined by the effect of one
|   type of operation relative to that of another. Most of the stations that
|   these repeaters listen for are also handheld transceivers of nearly
|   equivalent (typically within 6 dB) transmit power, and also employing
|   this same type of radio-mounted antenna.  The detachability of the GMRS
|   transceiver antenna gives it no advantage in power or radiation
|   efficiency.
|   
|   THIRD, the FCC argues that the "FM capture effect" would reduce
|   interference from FRS units to conventional GMRS operations.  Exactly THE
|   OPPOSITE is true.  The capture effect would guarantee that interference
|   would be caused by FRS transmitters operating on frequencies that overlap
|   repeater receiver channels in the 467 MHz band.
|   
|   In the creation of other new radio services over the past decade, NOWHERE
|   has the FCC argued that "the FM capture effect" justifies using the
|   antiquated, spectrum-inefficient NBFM (narrow band frequency modulated)
|   technology.  Indeed, the FCC has required that almost all other NEW
|   services implement new digital technology.  The FRS stands alone as the
|   only new service FORBIDDEN to use this digital technology.
|   
|   The FCC's claim that selective calling would produce a REDUCTION of
|   interference from FRS transmitters to GMRS receivers reflects a
|   misunderstanding of technology and an absence of real-world experience. 
|   The essence of "selective calling" is SELECTIVE MUTING -- that is to say,
|   the ability to leave a receiver entirely muted unless another party
|   wishes to address that particular receiver or group of receivers.
|   
|   Selective muting doesn't REDUCE interference -- it CONCEALS it.  The
|   interference or the BLOCKING is still there, and its concealment actually
|   WORSENS its impact because it makes it more difficult to identify, to
|   isolate and to correct.
|   
|   The use of CTCSS or DCS signaling by FRS transmitters in the 467 MHz band
|   would actually INCREASE their interference to GMRS repeaters.  Repeater
|   receivers on the 467 MHz primary channels would still receive the CTCSS
|   or DCS-accompanied signals on the overlapping 467 MHz interstitial
|   frequencies.  These overlapping signals would still BLOCK the receipt of
|   the desired signals.  Furthermore, if the same CTCSS or DCS codes were in
|   use by that repeater, their detection on the overlapping frequencies
|   would cause the unauthorized operation of the repeaters.
|   
|   Therefore, the use of CTCSS or DCS on the overlapping 467 MHz frequencies
|   would make interference much worse!
|   
|   In addition, without a licensing database from which to identify
|   potential sources of such interference, and without a licensing structure
|   to provide user accountability, the process of identifying and correcting
|   this interference to repeater operation would be made NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE. 
|   If anything, the use of CTCSS and DCS signaling by FRS transmitters in
|   the 467 MHz band must be PROHIBITED!
|   
|   Several parties identified precisely these interference problems in their
|   comments filed to Tandy's petition, but the FCC chose to ignore these
|   consequences in the NPRM.

9. Tandy, Motorola, and TIA state that for FRS to be attractive to users,
there should be no requirements for operator or station licenses. We agree. We
can not foresee any regulatory purpose that would be served by requiring
operator or station licenses in such a radio service. We propose, therefore,
to establish the Family Radio Service within the Citizens Band (CB) Radio
Service and authorize operation by rule under Section 307(e) of the
Communications Act. [25] We propose to regulate the usage of the FRS units
through technical standards and type certification. [26] We propose to rely
upon only four simple operating rules, [27] and to amend the rules necessary
to authorize FRS as one of the personal radio services. We solicit comment on
these proposals.

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   The FCC's inability to foresee any regulatory purpose for licensing also
|   reflects both an ignorance of and a disdain for the concept of personal
|   radio.  The primary reason that the FCC issues radio operating licenses
|   is to establish who is eligible (and who is NOT eligible) to use certain
|   spectrum, and for what conditions (and NOT for what other conditions).
|   
|   That the FCC intends to turn the GMRS spectrum into a "UHF Citizens Band"
|   is clear from the mechanism cited for its authority to do so.  The
|   proposed FRS is located in spectrum allocated for the PERSONAL radio
|   services, but turning it into another type of CB Radio reveals the
|   contemptuous unconcern that certain FCC personnel have for personal
|   radio.

10. We are not persuaded by the claim that unlicensed FRS units are
incompatible with the GMRS. We believe that these two services can share
certain channels successfully. The technical standards for the FRS units
should preclude any serious disruption to GMRS systems. None of the channels
proposed for the FRS is authorized for the wide area repeater stations in GMRS
systems, where interference is most likely to occur. [28] Moreover, the seven
shared channels we propose for FRS are currently available to GMRS systems for
communications similar to that proposed for the FRS. [29] We solicit comment
on our conclusion with regard to interference.

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   "Our minds are made up.  Don't confuse us with the facts."
|   
|   That is clearly what the FCC is claiming here about not being persuaded
|   the unlicensed FRS units are incompatible with GMRS.  The minimal
|   technical standards clearly fail to offer protection from the
|   overlapping-channel operation of FRS units in the 467 MHz band.  And the
|   FCC's own history of opposing the sharing of spectrum by similar licensed
|   and unlicensed radio services has been ignored.

11. We also propose technical standards similar to those requested in the
petition and the comments. The units would transmit frequency modulated voice
emission type F3E only. The authorized bandwidth would be 12.5 kHz. The
maximum power of the transmitter would be one-half watt. The antenna must be
an integral part of the transmitter, have no gain, and be vertically
polarized. We specifically request comments regarding the sufficiency of the
proposed technical standards to support this new radio service. Comments
should indicate whether any of the proposed technical standards need to be
relaxed or tightened, and whether other standards should be included in the
rules.

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   The FCC is about to mandate that the other private land mobile radio
|   services migrate to new DIGITAL technologies. This will eventually result
|   in substantially improved spectrum efficiency.  The NPRM instead proposes
|   an FRS that, by its sheer numbers, would lock it into the existing,
|   50-year-old NBFM ANALOG technology for the indefinite future.  Without a
|   licensing database and without the user accountability inherent in a
|   licensed radio service, there is virtually no possibility that FRS
|   operators could ever be required to convert to more spectrum-efficient
|   technologies.
|   
|   Moreover, in private conversations with PRSG staff, FCC officials have
|   made it clear that the GMRS will not be permitted to enjoy the advantages
|   of these new digital technologies. Implementing them in the GMRS would be
|   disruptive to anticipated FRS analog operations.  Continuing FRS use of
|   current analog NBFM technology would also nearly preclude any achievable
|   advantage to GMRS for migrating to digital technologies.
|   
|   The FCC did not explain how it will limit the bandwidth of FRS
|   transmitters to 12.5 KHz.  The bandwidth of the current NBFM technology
|   calculates to be over 20 KHz:
|   
|          +/-  5 KHz (the deviation maximum), plus
|          +/-  3 KHz (the audio sideband modulation component), plus
|          +/-  2.35 KHz for frequency stability.
|           --------
|          +/- 10.35 KHz, or 20.7 KHz.
|   
|   To bring these proposed analog NBFM FRS operations into a 12.5 KHz
|   bandwidth, the maximum deviation level would have to be reduced to 
|   +/- 0.7 KHz maximum, an absurdly and technically prohibitively tight
|   limit, or the audio sideband emissions would have to be reduced radically
|   (requiring much more expensive filters than required even on GMRS
|   transmitters), or the frequency stability would have to be tightened, or
|   some combination of these three.  Any of these actions, alone or in
|   combination with others, would impose a tighter technical performance
|   than currently applies to GMRS transmitters, and would thus increasing
|   the cost of FRS transmitters.
|   
|   The FCC has given NO CREDIBLE INDICATION of how a 12.5 KHz bandwidth
|   could possibly be achieved on an FRS-intended consumer-level transceiver.
|   
|   To require an integral antenna on FRS transmitters is a good idea, but is
|   insufficient ALONE to provide the necessary protection.  Conventional
|   GMRS handheld transceivers employ an antenna with virtually identical
|   performance (polarization and gain), even if it IS detachable.
|   
|   Cable/switcher assemblies, to convert two FRS transceivers (or ANY
|   receiver, plus a single FRS transmitter) into "an instant repeater," are
|   advertised and readily available on the market.  To prevent unlicensed
|   FRS stations from being modified or configured to operate as a repeater,
|   audio input and output connections should be prohibited, as should any
|   method for external or remote transmitter keying.

12. A related issue is interconnection with the public switched network (PSN).
[30] We propose not to allow interconnection between FRS stations and the PSN.
We want to ensure that the unique niche envisioned for this proposed low power
Family Radio Service not be compromised. However, we request comments
regarding whether interconnection with the PSN should be permitted and if so,
any restrictions or conditions that should be imposed.

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   The current prohibition of the use of GMRS spectrum for interconnection
|   with the public switched telephone network should be continued.  Allowing
|   interconnection would rapidly transform this spectrum into a substitute
|   mobile telephone service, and would render virtually impossible the kind
|   of two-way voice mobile communications for which it currently exists.
|   
|   However, FCC staff have told PRSG officers that they envision cordless
|   phones joining FRS on these frequencies, through separate rulemakings. 
|   Although the FRS NPRM proposes to prohibit interconnection, manufacturer
|   pressure could lift this prohibition now, or later when they get ready to
|   consider cordless phone use of the same spectrum.  It is important for
|   commenters to insist that interconnection continue to be prohibited
|   because of the interference that would be caused to conventional two-way
|   voice communications.

13. With respect to the comment of TIA regarding the need for selective
calling, we are not proposing rules that would require suppliers to
incorporate such a capability in their units. We agree, however, that
selective calling would enhance the appeal of the FRS by allowing users to
answer calls addressed to them without having to also monitor all other
communications on the channel. The proposed rules, therefore, would allow a
supplier the option to provide such a capability if it desires. Commenters
advocating rules mandating a Commission-specified interoperable selective
calling standard should provide proposed technical standards suitable for
inclusion in the rules.

|   PRSG Observes:
|   
|   The rules must require that the station operator monitor before
|   transmitting, and must not transmit if that would cause interference to
|   pre-existent or emergency communications.
|   
|   There should be an AUTOMATIC METHOD to accomplish this pre-transmission
|   monitoring.  For instance, any form of selective receiver MUTING must be
|   capable of being mechanically or electrically defeated before the
|   transmitter is enabled.  The method of muting defeat must not require any
|   TEMPORARY or MOMENTARY action (such as holding down a button), but rather
|   a TOGGLING or a PUSH-ON/PUSH-OFF action, so that the operator need not
|   actively hold a button down merely to monitor before transmitting.
|   
|   You may also want to comment on a requirement that FRS transmitters must
|   include some form of AUTOMATIC TRANSMITTER IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM (ATIS). 
|   A mandatory ATIS would assist GMRS licensees suffering FRS interference
|   to identify the source of that interference.  An optimal solution, in the
|   absence of a conventional licensing requirement for FRS transmitters,
|   would be to mandate that ATIS protocols be employed, and that FRS
|   purchasers must register their ATIS code(s) at time of purchase. The
|   registration could be accomplished as easily as warrantee registration,
|   but must be made MANDATORY.
|   
|   Selective calling protocols could incorporate the ATIS code, and could be
|   made integral with the transmitter hardware.  This would provide both the
|   FRS user benefit of selective calling, and the GMRS licensee benefit of
|   identifying and tracking down any source of interference from an FRS
|   transmitter.

                         III. PROCEDURAL MATTERS

EX PARTE RULES - NON-RESTRICTED PROCEEDING

14. This is a non-restricted notice and comment rule making proceeding. Ex
parte presentations are permitted, except during the Sunshine Agenda period,
provided they are disclosed as provided in the Commission's Rules. See
generally 47 C.F.R. paragraphs 1.1202, 1.1203, and 1.1206(a).

REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ACT

15. An initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is contained in Appendix A.

16. The Secretary shall send a copy of this Notice of Proposed Rule Making,
including the Analysis in Appendix A, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the
Small Business Administration in accordance with Section 603(a) of the
Regulatory Flexibility Act, Pub. L. No. 96354, 94 Stat. 1164, 5 U.S.C. 601-612
(1981).

COMMENT DATES

17. Pursuant to applicable procedures set forth in Sections 1.415 and 1.419 of
the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. paragraphs 1.415 and 1.419, interested
parties may file comments on or before October 2, l99S, and reply comments on
or before October 16, 1995. To file formally in this proceeding, you must file
an original and five copies of all comments and reply comments. To file
informally, you must file an original and one copy of your comments, provided
only that the Docket Number is specified in the heading. You should send
comments and reply comments to: Office of the Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, Washington, D.C. 20554. Comments and reply comments
will be available for public inspection during regular business hours in the
FCC Reference Center (Room 239) of the Federal Communications Commission, 1919
M Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.

ORDERING CLAUSE

18. Authority for issuance of this Notice is contained in Sections 4(i),
303(b), 303(r), and 307(e) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47
U.S.C. paragraphs 154(i), 303(b), 303(r), and 307(e)

19. For further information, contact William T. Cross, Private Wireless
Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, (202) 418-0680.

                                          FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                                          William F. Caton, Acting Secretary


                                 APPENDIX A

                   INITIAL REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS

REASON FOR ACTION

The Commission is proposing to amend Part 95 of its rules to establish a new
Family Radio Service within the CB Radio Service. This change will provide a
new and innovative communication service and promote more efficient use of the
radio spectrum.

OBJECTIVES

The proposed rules will encourage rapid deployment and growth of inexpensive
low power communications equipment for use by groups in which members need to
communicate over short distances.

LEGAL BASIS

The proposed action is authorized under Sections 4(i), 303(b), 303(r), and
307(e) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. paragraphs 154(i), 303(b), 303(r),
and 307(e).

REPORT, RECORDKEEPING AND OTHER COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS

None.

FEDERAL RULES WHICH OVERLAP, DUPLICATE OR CONFLICT WITH THESE RULES

DESCRIPTION, POTENTIAL IMPACT, AND SMALL ENTITIES INVOLVED.

The proposed rule change would benefit individuals by allowing them to make
use of new services, and producers of personal communications equipment. Most
users are expected to be members of groups such as families that desire to
communicate by radio over very short distances.

ANY SIGNIFICANT ALTERNATIVES MINIMIZING THE IMPACT ON SMALL ENTITIES
CONSISTENT WITH THE STATED OBJECTIVES

None.

                                APPENDIX B

Part 95 of Chapter I of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is
proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 95-PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES

1. The authority citation for Part 95 continues to read as follows:

AUTHORITY: Secs. 4, 303, 48 Stat. 1066, 1082, as amended; 47 U.S.C. paragraphs
154, 303.

2. Subpart B, Sections 95.191 through 95.194, is added to Part 95 to read as
follows:

Subpart B - Family Radio Service (FRS)

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 95.191 (FRS Rule l) Eligibility and responsibility.
     95.192 (FRS Rule 2) Authorized locations.
     95.193 (FRS Rule 3) Types of communications.
     95.194 (FRS Rule 4) FRS units.

Subpart B-Family Radio Service (FRS)

                           GENERAL PROVISIONS

Paragraph 95.191 (FRS Rule 1): ELIGIBILITY AND RESPONSIBILITY.

(a) Unless you are a representative of a foreign government, you are
authorized by this rule to operate an FCC certified FRS unit in accordance
with the rules in this subpart. No license will be issued.

(b) You are responsible for all communications that you make with the FRS
unit. You must share each channel with other users. No channel is available
for the private or exclusive use of any entity.

Paragraph 95.192 (FRS Rule 2):  AUTHORIZED LOCATIONS.

(a) Provided that you comply with these rules, you are authorized to operate
an FRS unit:

  (1) Within or over any area of the world where radio services are
regulated by the FCC (this area includes the fifty United States and the
District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States
Virgin Islands (50 islets and cays), American Samoa (seven islands), the
Commonwealth of Northern Marianna Islands, and Guam Island) or

  (2) Within or over any other area of the world, except within or over the
territorial limits of areas where radio services are regulated by an agency
of the United States other than the FCC or any foreign government (you are
subject to its rules); or

  (3) Aboard any vessel or aircraft registered in the United States, with
the permission of the captain, that is within or over any area of the world
where radio services are regulated by the FCC or upon or over international
waters; or

  (4) Aboard any unregistered vessel or aircraft owned or operated by a
United States citizen or company that is within or over any area of the
world where radio services are regulated by the FCC or upon or over
international waters.

  (5) You must operate the FRS unit only according to any applicable treaty
to which the United States is a party. The FCC will make public notice of
any such conditions.

(b) Your use of an FRS unit must not cause harmful interference to a FCC
monitoring facility. Doing so could result in imposition of restrictions upon
the operation of the FRS unit within 0.8 km (0.5 mile) of the facility by its
Engineer-in-Charge. (Geographical coordinates of the facilities that require
protection are listed in paragraph 0.121(c) of this chapter.)

(c) The FCC may impose additional restrictions on a FRS station if the station
is located at a point within the National Radio Quiet Zone (an area within the
States of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia). The Zone is the area bounded
by:

                          (1) 39 deg15 'N. on the North;
                          (2) 78 deg 30'W. on the East;
                          (3) 37 deg 30'N. on the South; and
                          (4) 80 deg 30'W. on the West.

Paragraph 95.193 (FRS Rule 3): TYPES OF COMMUNICATIONS.

(a) You may use an FRS unit to conduct two-way voice communications with
another person. You may use the FRS unit to transmit one-way communications
only to establish communications with another person, send an emergency
message, provide traveler assistance, make a voice page, or to conduct a
brief test.

(b) The FRS unit may transmit tones to make contact or to continue
communications with a particular FRS unit. If the tone is audible (more than
300 Hertz), it must last no longer than 15 seconds at one time. If the tone is
subaudible (300 Hertz or less), it may be transmitted continuously only while
you are talking.

(c) You must not use an FRS unit in connection with any activity which is
against federal, state or local law.

(d) You must, at all times and on all channels, give priority to emergency
communication messages concerning the immediate safety of life or the
immediate protection of property.

(e) No FRS unit may be interconnected to the public switched telephone
network.

Paragraph 95.194 (FRS Rule 4): FRS UNITS.

(a) You may only use an FCC certified FRS unit. (You can identify an FCC
certified FRS unit by the label placed on it by the manufacturer.)

(b) You must not make, or have made, any internal modification to an FRS unit.
Any internal modification cancels the FCC certification and voids your
authority to operate the unit in the FRS.

(c) You may not attach any antenna, power amplifier, or other apparatus to an
FRS unit that has not been FCC certified as part of that FRS unit. There are
no exceptions to this rule and attaching any such apparatus to a FRS unit
cancels the FCC certification and voids everyone's authority to operate the
unit in the FRS.

3. Section 95.401 is revised to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.401 (CB Rule 1):  WHAT ARE THE CITIZENS BAND RADIO SERVICES?

The Citizens Band Radio Services are:

(a) The Citizens Band (CB) Radio Service-a private, two-way, short-distance
voice communications service for personal or business activities of the
general public. The CB Radio Service may also be used for voice paging.

(b) The Family Radio Service (FRS)-a private, two-way, very short-distance
voice communications service for facilitating family and group activities. The
rules for this service are contained in Subpart B of this part.

4. Section 95.601 is revised to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.601: BASIS AND PURPOSE.

These rules provide the technical standards to which each transmitter
(apparatus that converts electrical energy received from a source into RF
(radio frequency) energy capable of being radiated) used or intended to be
used in a station authorized in any of the Personal Radio Services must
comply. They also provide requirements for obtaining type acceptance of such
transmitters. The Personal Radio Services are the GMRS (General Mobile Radio
Service), the Family Radio Service (FRS), the R/C (Radio Control Radio
Service), and the CB (Citizens Band Radio Service). For operating rules, see
Part 95, subpart A-GMRS; subpart B-FRS; subpart C-R/C; and subpart D-CB.

5. Section 95.603 is amended by revising the heading and adding paragraph (d)
to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.603 Type acceptance or certification required.

* * * * *

(d) Each FRS unit (a transmitter that operates or is intended to operate in
the FRS) must be certified for use in the FRS in accordance with Subpart J of
Part 2 of this chapter .

6. Section 95.605 is revised to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.605 Type acceptance and certification procedures.

Any entity may request type acceptance or certification for its transmitter in
one of the Personal Radio Services, following the procedures in Part 2 of this
chapter.

7. Sections 95.627 through 95.669 are redesignated as 95.629 through 95.671
and a new Section 95.627 is added to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.627:  FRS UNIT CHANNEL FREQUENCIES.

(a) The FRS unit channel frequencies are:

        Channel No.     (MHz)
            1.        462.5625
            2.        462.5875
            3.        462.6125
            4.        462.6375
            5.        462.6625
            6.        462.6875
            7.        462.7125
            8.        467.5625
            9.        467.5875 
           10.        467.6125
           11.        467.6375
           12.        467.6625
           13.        467.6875
           14.        467.7125

(b) Each FRS unit must be maintained within a frequency tolerance of
0.0005%.

8. Section 95.629 is amended by revising paragraph (b), redesignating
paragraphs (d) and (e) as paragraphs (e) and (f) respectively, and adding a
new paragraph (d) to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.629: EMISSION TYPES.

*****

(b) An R/C transmitter may transmit any appropriate non-voice emission which
meets the emission limitations of paragraph 95.633.

*****

(d) An FRS unit may transmit only emission type F3E. A non-voice emission is
limited to selective calling or tone-operated squelch tones to establish or
continue voice communications.

*****

9. Section 95.631 is amended by adding a new paragraph (c) to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.631:  EMISSION BANDWIDTH.

*****

(c) The authorized bandwidth for emission type F3E transmitted by a FRS unit
is 12.5 kHz.

10. Section 95.633 is amended by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.633:  UNWANTED RADIATION.

*****

(b) The power of each unwanted emission shall be less than TP as specified in
the applicable paragraph:

Transmitter     Emission type                    Applicable paragraphs

GMRS            A1D, A3E, F1D, G1D,              (1), (3), (7)
                F3E, G3E with filtering

                A1D, A3E, F1D, G1D,              (5), (6), (7)
                F3E, G3E without filtering

                H1D, J1D, R1D, H3E,
                J3E, R3E                         (2), (4), (7)

FRS             F3E with filtering               (1), (3), (7)

   NOTE: Filtering refers to the requirement in paragraph 95.635(b)

R/C:

 27 MHz band    As specified in paragraph 95.629(b)
                                                 (1), (3), (7)

 72-76 MHz band
                As specified in                  (1), (3), (7),
                paragraph 95.629(b)               (10), (11), (12)

CB              A1D, A3E                         (1), (3), (8), (9)
                H1D, J1D, R1D, H3E, J3E, R3E     (2), (4), (8), (9)

                A1D, A3E type accepted           (1), (3), (7)
                before September 10, 1976

                H1D, J1D, R1D, H3E, J3E, R3E     (2), (4), (7)
                type accepted before
                September 10, 1986

*****

11. Section 95.635 is amended by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.635:  MODULATION STANDARDS.

(a) A GMRS transmitter that transmits emission types FlD, G1D, or G3E must not
exceed a peak frequency deviation of plus or minus 5 kHz. An FRS unit or a
GMRS transmitter that transmits emission type F3E must not exceed a peak
frequency deviation of plus or minus 5 kHz.

*****

12. Section 95.637 is amended by adding a new paragraph (d) to read as
follows:

Paragraph 95.637:  MAXIMUM TRANSMITTER POWER.

*****

(d) No FRS unit, under any condition of modulation, shall exceed 0.500 W
Carrier power (average TP during one unmodulated RF cycle) when transmitting
emission type F3E.

13. Section 95.645 is revised to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.645:  FRS UNIT AND R/C TRANSMITTER ANTENNAS.

The antenna of each FRS unit, and the antenna of each RC station transmitting
in the 72-76 MHz band, must be an integral part of the transmitter. The
antenna must have no gain (as compared to a halfwave dipole) and must be
vertically polarized.

14. Section 95.647 is revised to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.647:  POWER CAPABILITY.

No CB or R/C station transmitter or FRS unit shall incorporate provisions for
increasing its transmitter power to any level in excess of the limit specified
in paragraph 95.637.

15. Section 95.649 is revised to read as follows:

Paragraph 95.649:  CRYSTAL CONTROL REQUIRED.

All transmitters used in the Personal Radio Services must be crystal
controlled, except an R/C station that transmits in the 26-27 MHz frequency
band, and a FRS unit.

16. Appendix 1 to Subpart E is amended by adding the definition for "FRS", in
alphabetical order, to read as follows:

APPENDIX 1 TO SUBPART E-GLOSSARY OF TERMS

*****

FRS. Family Radio Service.

*****

FOOTNOTES

[1]  See Public Notice, July 26, 1994, Report No. 2023.

[2]  Petition at 4.

[3]  The General Mobile Radio Service is a personal radio service administered
under Part 95 of the Commission's Rules. Its purpose is to facilitate the
activities of licensees and their immediate family members. There are fifteen
Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) channels consisting of eight channel pairs for
repeater operation and seven interstitial non-repeater channels. See Sections
95.1-95.181 of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. paragraphs 95.1-95.181. As of
July 31, 1994, the Commission had licensed 11,981 GMRS systems.

[4]  Petition at 3-4.

[5]  Id.at7-8.

[6]  Comment of REACT International, Inc. at 1.

[7]  Petition at 2.

[8]  Petition at 7.

[9]  Section 95.29(f) of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. paragraph 95.29(f)
authorizes family members using GMRS mobile and small base stations to
transmit in the simplex mode with no more than 5 watts ERP on the channels at
462.5625, 462.5875, 462.6125, 462.6375, 462.6625, 462.6875, and 462.7125 MHz.

[10]  These channels would be at 467.5625, 467.5875, 467.6125, 467.6375,
467.6625, 467.6875, and 467.7125 MHz.

[11]  Petition at 6-7.

[12]  Comments of PRSG at 17, REACT International at 5-10.

[13]  Comments of PRSG at 3-4.

[14]  Comments of Michael C. Trahos at 5-6.

[15]  Comments of TIA at 1, Motorola at 3.

[16]  Comments of TIA at 2, Motorola at 6.

[17]  The CB Radio Service is a personal radio service authorized in the High
Frequency portion of the radio spectrum. The propagation characteristics of
these frequencies often result in severe interference between stations, and
communications over distances that are much greater than the users desire.

[18]  Comments of Motorola at 3. The CB service is an unlicensed, High
Frequency (HF), short-distance voice communications service for personal or
business activities. Although channel reusability is often limited by HF
propagation characteristics and over-powered stations, it continues to have
great acceptance by the public. CB has introduced millions of people to the
benefits of two-way radio.

[19]  Comments of TIA at 1-2.

[20]  Comments of Motorola at 6.

[21]  In 1983, we proposed to create a new private radio communications
service (PRCS) that would have served many of the same needs as FRS. We did
not allocate the proposed 8 MHz of spectrum for PRCS at that time, concluding
that the spectrum was reserved for future growth of land mobile and cellular
radio systems. See Report and Order, Gen Docket No. 83-26, para. 21, 50 Fed.
Reg. 865 (1985). We also did not adopt our proposal to create the Consumer
Radio Service because the comments in that proceeding did not show there was a
need for the service, and no manufacturers came forward that were willing to
produce equipment. See Report and Order, PR Docket No. 86-38, para. 11, 2 FCC
Rcd 2383, (1987).

[22]  The only costs to the user would be the cost of the FRS units is
estimated to be $100-$150 each and the cost of replacement batteries.

[23]  Capture effect is the phenomenon whereby the strongest signal received
on a frequency is the only signal that is demodulated by a FM receiver tuned
to that frequency.

[24]  Selective calling is a feature that permits the user of a unit to
program it so that only a unique sequence of tones will activate the receiver.
Transmissions of other units on the same channel would not activate the
programmed receiver.

[25]  Section 307(e) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C.
307(e), provides that, the term "citizens band radio service" shall have the
meaning given it by the Commission by rule, and that the Commission may by
rule authorize the operation of such radio stations without an individual
license.

[26]  The requirements for type certification can be found in Sections
2.1031-2.1045 of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. paragraphs 2.10312.1045.

[27]  The proposed rules cover eligibility and responsibility, authorized
locations, types of communications, and equipment requirements.

[28]  A repeater is a station that receives the signal of another station on
one frequency and retransmits that signal on a different frequency. One of the
primary uses of a repeater is to increase the area over which a low power hand
held station can communicate. This use is inconsistent with the type of
communications FRS is designed to satisfy.

[29]  47 C.F.R. paragraph 95.29(f). A licensee does not require any permission
from the FCC to use these channels after a GMRS system license has been
granted.

[30]  For purposes of this proceeding, we consider interconnection to be
any arrangement that allows messages transmitted by FRS stations to be
connected to the public switched network.

[EOF]
 


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