FCC Adopts Changes to PRS Bands – GMRS, FRS, CB & MURS

The FCC has adopted changes to the GMRS, FRS, CB, & MURS services. These changes were expected, and a quick search on google, facebook, and twitter will gather you the various comments and controversies attached to these new rules; which I will cover none here. So, here is the breakdown:

  • Hybrid FRS/GMRS “Bubble Pack” radios will no longer be certified in the future by the FCC. Radios will now only be certified as either FRS, or GMRS (or MURS), etc.
  • FRS radios can now operate on the previously GMRS-only 462 MHz (GMRS ch. 15-22) Channels. Yes, these are the GMRS repeater output frequencies, which could cause even more repeater interference by FRS users (especially considering the next item below), but they will not be allowed to transmit on the repeater input channels, so no repeater use for FRS.
  • FRS radios will now be authorized to use up to 2 Watts ERP (Effective Radiated Power) on all FRS frequencies, in eluding the GMRS repeater output frequencies. This means a kid with an FRS radio running 2W next door to you, might be able to mask your repeater reception (although they’ve been doing this with the hybrid radios all along).
  • Existing FRS/GMRS radios that use 2W or less, will now be retro-reclassified as FRS radios, using the new expanded FRS capabilities.
  • Existing FRS/GMRS radios that put our MORE than 2W, will now be retro-reclassified as GMRS radios, which operation will still require a GMRS license, and using the new expanded GMRS capabilities.
  • GMRS will now become Part 95E (instead of Part 95A), FRS (Part 95B) and MURS (Part 95J) remaining the same.
  • GMRS radios will remain largely the same, except that they will gain use of the previously FRS-only 467 MHz (ch. 8-14) frequencies, with the same 5W limit as on the current “interstitial” channels (ch. 1-7) that are shared with FRS. This adds 7 new shared “interstitial” GMRS channels, giving GMRS users more options to find a clear simplex channel (but still shared with all the .5W FRS radios out in the world now).
  • GMRS will now allow digital GPS and Short Text Messaging between specific radios, limited to a maximum of 1 second per every 30 seconds, and only on radios that have integrated antennas, and not on repeaters, which will hopefully limit interference to serious GMRS users, but allow these digital services for short-range simplex communications.
  • CB radios (Part 95D) will no longer be required to have their serial number etched onto the outside of their cases.
  • CB operation will no longer be restricted from long-distance “SKIP” communications, although the power limits will remain at 4W.

The full text of the rule changes cane be found here:

https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-10-106A1.pdf

FRS/GMRS Combined Band Plan based on FCC-10-106

CH OLD NEW RX
FREQ
TX
FREQ
MODE
FRS, GMRS
POWER
FRS, GMRS
01 CALL FRS/GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.5625 462.5625 NFM 2W, 5W
02 FRS/GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.5875 462.5875 NFM 2W, 5W
03 EM FRS/GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.6125 462.6125 NFM 2W, 5W
04 FRS/GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.6375 462.6375 NFM 2W, 5W
05 FRS/GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.6625 462.6625 NFM 2W, 5W
06 FRS/GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.6875 462.6875 NFM 2W, 5W
07 FRS/GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.7125 462.7125 NFM 2W, 5W
08 FRS FRS/GMRS 467.5625 467.5625 NFM 2W, 5W
09 FRS FRS/GMRS 467.5875 467.5875 NFM 2W, 5W
10 FRS FRS/GMRS 467.6125 467.6125 NFM 2W, 5W
11 FRS FRS/GMRS 467.6375 467.6375 NFM 2W, 5W
12 FRS FRS/GMRS 467.6625 467.6625 NFM 2W, 5W
13 FRS FRS/GMRS 467.6875 467.6875 NFM 2W, 5W
14 FRS FRS/GMRS 467.7125 467.7125 NFM 2W, 5W
15 GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.5500 462.5500
467.5500
NFM, FM 2W, 5/50W
16 GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.5750 462.5750
467.5750
NFM, FM 2W, 5/50W
17 EM GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.6000 462.6000
467.6000
NFM, FM 2W, 5/50W
18 GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.6250 462.6250
467.6250
NFM, FM 2W, 5/50W
19 GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.6500 462.6500
467.6500
NFM, FM 2W, 5/50W
20 EM/TR GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.6750 462.6750
467.6750
NFM, FM 2W, 5/50W
21 GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.7000 462.7000
467.7000
NFM, FM 2W, 5/50W
22 GMRS FRS/GMRS 462.7250 462.7250
467.7250
NFM, FM 2W, 5/50W

(FRS use is not allowed on the 467MHz GMRS Repeater inputs on chs. 15-22 – GMRS allows “wide” FM for simplex or repeater us on chs. 15-22 – NFM = 12.5kHz, FM = 25kHz – GMRS Power shown is Handheld/Mobile-Base – CALL = Calling Channel – EM = Emergency/Prepper freq. – TR = Travel Safety & Assistance)

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