Dump GRMS license fee since FRS only radios are not available anymore.
Why should we have to pay $85 for a license to use an FRS radio when all you can buy today is an FRS/GMRS radio that nobody is getting a license for anyway?
Per my previous comment, The GMRS/FRS system is primarily a standby emergency network and cost for licenses should be FREE ! That being said, perhaps a repeater should have a license fee of $12 every 8 years.
As it sits right now, FRS and GMRS radios have been sold to the public for some time. These radios are fairly short range dependent on terrain. The FRS frequencies do have a bit of low power chatter on them and the first eight channels of GMRS channels have a bit less. This is more so in summer when people are out and about. In reality, a short time after FRS and GMRS radios are purchased, they find themselves in a drawer somewhere until the next family trip to the ski resort of hiking trip. All in all, they are used pretty much as intended. I noticed by previous comments that many disapprove of the first eight of the repeater output channels being allocated to newer FRS/GMRS radios. I think it was a great move for the FCC as it allows limited communication between the 2 services. Where this can become a powerful tool is in an emergency. It is my understanding that in an emergency, large cities can link multiple GMRS repeaters together (as in Seattle, there are three) and operate an emergency network over a city wide area. It would be possible for FRS users to input emergency information to GMRS operators who can then broadcast city wide to all FRS/GMRS listeners on the GMRS repeaters. Not even the radio amateurs can boost this kind of network participation. The FRS/GMRS emergency network infrastructure is in place now and ready to use!
I am a licensed amateur (extra class). I do sympathize with numerous other posts regarding the high cost. For an amateur (ham) license it's about $15.00 which is for the test & materials.... and it gives you way more privs. And for those that think the GMRS high cost will limit the 'CB' like over usage, I laughed.... I think virtually all users do not have a GMRS license, & I don't know of an FCC abuse/no license case for GMRS usage w/o a license....
Most consumers don't even know they need a license and if they did know and then found out the price most would not pay the FCC fee. Who is going to pay an $85 fee to only talk 1 or 2 miles? GMRS repeaters are almost a thing of the past since the cost of setting one up and the fees are so high. So, since the hybrid radios have been allowed to be sold without much forethought of what the radios would do to the intended use for them... Rough question...!
I agree that the fee should be lower, but if you drop the licensing completely, you're dooming GMRS to the same fate as CB.
Jorge Morales commented
Dump the liscense requirement.
Hams should not have to pay. Repeaters should require a ham license. The first 8 GMRS & 7 FRS should be free and the FRS channels should be 2 watt maximum. The FRS channels don't need 5 watt GMRS people stomping on people on motorcycles or paint ball games.
Cody Marshall commented
I am a licensed Amateur Operator and licensed through my father's GMRS license (yes it's license can extend to others in the family, making the $80+ fee no so bad for large families)
Whoever said that GMRS does not require the use of a call sign is in error, a GMRS call sign is issued and it is legally required to use when on the air. Besides all that GMRS is very different from FRS in that it allows for
a) Repeaters b) Much higher power (up to 50w on ch 15-22), c) Changeable antennas.
These things alone are much much different than FRS, I certainly would like to see the license fee reduced, but think that opening the band to non licensed use is a mistake, unless of course we can somehow be promised that we with be allow repeaters so other way. I love the family license that GMRS allows and the other options. The FCC only allows for a few bands to be open (outside of amateur) for the public use, lets not so readily ask for changes, when the likely consequence is loss of privileges overall. Whatever happens I want to keep the privileges available. Maybe allowing for unlicensed use for the simplex - low power - frequencies is not a terrible idea. I don't know, but certainly lower the fee.
someone said that if you can afford the equipment, you can afford the $85 license. i just saw pair for frs/gmrs radios for $20. these radios are cheaper than CBs. the range on handheld CBs suck.
I dont see how individuals could police the band. there are no call signs nor rules like ham. having untrained people police the band is going to lead to fights. not worth it. if they want to charge for the use, it should not be more than ham radio licensing and for the samr duration ($10 for 10 years). people that already went through the classes and got a ham license should not have to pay for these devices. charging a lot of money does not limit use, it just makes people use it without a license.
I appreciate the need for the GMRS license; but also think the $85/5-year fee does a better job of promoting non compliance than otherwise. I suggest that the fee be reduced to $5 per unit, $10 per pair, and for a period of 10 years. Moreover, this license fee shall be collected at sale of the unit(s) and submitted to the FCC by the sellers. This no doubt will raise questions about previous sales. But we will have to start somewhere!
Eric F. commented
I agree the $85 fee is too high, and most people are not getting licenses, there is little to no enforcement. Licenses and license fees should be required, set at $10 to $20 for 10 years. Publicize it and give public notice, get licensed, or get fined, period. I will probably not renew mine because of the fee and that I don't use it often enough to justify the cost.
It's too sensible for the government to adopt such a proposal.
Someone Somewhere commented
$85? How about kma and I'll just use it anyway.
Tim, there are already many frequencies dedicated to license only use. 2m is great and the range is also great. throw in repeaters and it is awesome. the problem, as i see it isfrs
1 - The radios are cheap and easy to get.
2 - The radios have both a FRS GMRS frequency spectrum. the frs than gmrs so people will automatically want to use it.
3 - a lot of the time the license will be more than the radio
4 - policing would be a pain. you dont have call signs so it would be hard to know who the violator is and who is legit.
there are other reasons but i'm on a phone and getting tired of typing
either drop the fee, get rid of it, and/or extend the license duration.
I would like to see the license requirement dropped for public volunteer groups such as CERT, ARES, etc. Furthermore, allow licensed amateur radio operators to operate GMRS radios without a GMRS license.
Also, drop the license fee to $10 so it will encourage others to get licensed.
Nelson Sievers commented
I let my GRMS license expire after 5 years because of the fee, especially since I so infrequently use it, and yet it is a useful service at times. Since radio manufacturers are combining FRS bands, it is inevitable that many will ignore the licensing requirement, rendering it unusable where there is a high concentration of users. I propose that the licensing requirement remain intact, but at a lower fee, and that unlicensed users and abusers be prosecuted with stiff fines. Because the FCC hasn't the resources to police the band, it should be monitored by licensees. They in turn should attempt to identify offenders and report them to the FCC . If enough are caught and fined, the word will get out that this is not the new CB band.
John Willis Jr commented
I am a general class HAM. I do not hold GMRS. Since the FCC allowed the service to be corrupted by FRS the fees should be removed. This merger has destroyed a good service. Drop the fees and call it a CB.
I just made a change.org petition for this, please check it out: http://www.change.org/petitions/fcc-remove-the-licensing-requirement-for-gmrs-two-way-radio
As an amateur radio extra class operator, I have to agree with Eric. $85.00 for five years is a bit extreme. A ham license is $10 and lasts ten years. Since the radios don't cost all that much, it sould not be such a burden. Since the manufacturers have decided to merge GMRS and FRS into the same radio, make a license and fee for FRS as well. If you don't want to pay the fees, use CB walkie talkies. They have better than line of sight propagation and are relatively inexpensive to buy. Everytime the FCC opens bandwidth, it turns out to be a waste of spectrum. Maybe the Commission should enact a test and put in all the regulations in place for these band as well. Nothing like a good ole violation to lighten yor wallet and get your privileges revoked. Since CB is now such a joke let them have that.
Tim Dwyer commented
The GMRS Fee should not be eliminated. Keeping the fee is a benefit to those wishing to use it by slightly limiting access, thus preserving a few frequencies. There are already other license free "services" e.g. CB, FRS, and MURS. The current fee of $85 for a term of 5 years amounts to $17 per year which is far from outrageous, and should not be beyond the reach of anyone who can also afford the equipment to use it. Reserving a few frequencies for more responsible and reliable use is a benefit to the public. Making them free would degrade the overall usability, particularly in heavily populated areas.