CB radio users will no longer have to replace their older-style 40 channel equipment. A limitation of the equipment’s use was due to take effect from 1 July this year. However, following consultation, the ACMA has decided to allow continued use of 40 channel equipment alongside the newer 80 channel equipment.
The limitation on interlinking repeaters through CB stations that previously applied has also been removed. The ACMA has identified the potential for the interlinking of CB repeaters to provide significant benefit to CB users, particularly in regional and remote areas. The ACMA has come to the view that these benefits outweigh any potential interference, and that alternative regulatory mechanisms are sufficient to address interference if it arises.
The ACMA received 23 submissions to this consultation—12 responses via Word/PDF document and 11 responses via online comment. These can be accessed from the right hand side index box.
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Proposed amendments to the Radiocommunications (Citizen Band Radio Stations) Class Licence 2015
Draft Radiocommunications (Citizen Band Radio Stations) Class Licence Variation 2017 (No.1)
The purpose of this consultation is to provide information about proposed changes to the Radiocommunications (Citizen Band Radio Stations) Class Licence 2015 (the 2015 CBRS Class Licence). These changes are intended to reduce costs that would otherwise apply to many CB users, and allow greater flexibility in the interlinking of CB repeaters.
The draft Radiocommunications (Citizen Band Radio Stations) Class Licence Variation 2017 (No.1) (the draft 2017 CBRS Class Licence Variation) is also provided as part of this consultation. The draft 2017 CBRS Class Licence Variation will, if made by the ACMA following public consultation, implement the changes proposed in this paper.
Specifically, the ACMA proposes to amend the 2015 CBRS Class Licence to:
- remove the 30 June 2017 time limit on the use of 25 kHz CBRS equipment
- remove the limitation on the use of CB stations to link CB channels and CB repeaters.
These limitations were introduced in 2011 to reduce congestion and a perceived risk of interference from interlinking.
However, recent monitoring conducted by the ACMA indicates that the CBRS is now operating effectively and provides sufficient access to CB channels for users. The ACMA therefore considers that the 2011 changes have already led to a reduction in congestion, and will continue to do so as 25 kHz equipment is progressively replaced by the 12.5 kHz equipment mandated in the current technical standard. In these circumstances, imposition of the present time limit on the use of legacy 25 kHz CBRS equipment already in private hands is seen as an unnecessary imposition on CB users.
In relation to CB repeater interlinking, the ACMA considers that other compliance mechanisms may be more appropriately used to manage interference that may arise from the interlinking of repeaters.
The reduction in congestion in CB channels and availability of compliance mechanisms to manage problematic interlinking provides an opportunity for the changes proposed in this consultation.
To enable interested parties to make informed submissions on these issues, the consultation paper provides more information about the:
- CBRS and licensing arrangements for CB stations and repeaters
- 2011 changes to the CBRS
- ACMA’s monitoring of the current state of the CBRS
- proposed changes to the CBRS Class Licence
- proposed next steps.
Issues for comment
The ACMA invites comments on the issues set out in this discussion paper.
Area for feedback 1
Are there any reasons why the ACMA should not allow for the continued use of wideband CBRS equipment beyond 30 June 2017?
Area for feedback 2
Considering that the ACMA has other compliance tools to address interference from CB repeater interlinking, are there any reasons why the ACMA should not allow the linking of CB repeaters or CB channels through the operation of CB stations?
Please note that the closing date has been extended from Monday 6 March 2017.