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?
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.
Dr. Leo Marnell commented
I concur with the majority view that the fee for gmrs users should be eliminated or substantially reduced. Either that or manufacturers should discontinue selling integrated frs/gmrs radios; not a very practical solution. Whoever allowed this delimma to develop (FCC?) created a predictable trainwreck. I see (and hear) people using gmrs channels all over Montana and I'd be willing to bet 90% of them are unlicensed. Those who believe most people will or should follow the rules (and lay out $85 in the process when so many others refuse to comply) need a reality check. Eighty five dollars is a lot of money for most middle class Americans (if any are still left). Which legislators should one contact to get this mess resolved?
I sell FRS/GMRS and talk about the license requirement for the GMRS part of the radio. People email me asking why I require that when they can go to another site and buy it without the requirement. I tell them that it is required by the FCC not me, and that, no matter where they buy it, they are supposed to get a license. I used to be in ham radio (only a tech no code) and understand why they want it to be licensed. Especially with the longer and longer range that the newer GMRS radios are getting. But how can you put together a non-license Family Radio Service (FRS) that does NOT require a license, and a GMRS radio that does? The word Family implies that kids will be using the radio. Does the FCC really think kids are not going to use the longer range channels just because they shouldn't? Plus these radios are cheap enough that kids can easily afford them, not at all like the expensive radios (relative) you had to buy for ham. The FCC should drop the license requirement or lower the price ($10) and make it 10 years (like my ham license). I would love to see how many of these radios sold last year nationwide and also see the number of FCC licenses that were purchased. Trying to enforce the law would cost the FCC a lot more than just dropping the license!
I believe that the FCC should reduce the GMRS license fee and then begin enforcing the licensed use of the spectrum.