FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 11, Pages 8850 to 9847, July 30 - August 17, 2012 Page: 8,927
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emergency communications.' Administration of these rules is accomplished primarily through
voluntary frequency planning by, and cooperation among, amateur radio operators.
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has previously addressed the question of
whether to establish a nationwide common calling or distress channel in a service where
transmission of such communications is permitted but not required, these communications may be
transmitted on any channel authorized to the user, these communications are given priority over
other communications, and the channels are shared by all users. It concluded that it was not
necessary to designate a Family Radio Service (FRS) channel for establishing emergency
communications because emergency communications have priority on all FRS channels and the
record did not demonstrate that FRS users were having any difficulty establishing
communications It noted that the FRS differed from the CB and Maritime services in that the
emergency frequencies are routinely monitored by emergency first-responders in order to provide
assistance to persons in distress.!
Similarly, we conclude that you have not presented grounds for the Commission to
propose revising the amateur service rules. Like the FRS, the amateur service differs from the
services in which our rules designate a nationwide emergency calling channel in that it is not
routinely monitored by safety entities such as the police or the Coast Guard. Additionally, those
services do not require an individual to have an operator license or otherwise demonstrate the
ability to operate the station by performing such functions as selecting transmitting channels to
avoid interference. Therefore, we believe the administration of these services primarily through
operational rules that specify the use of a channel and transmitter technical standards is
We also believe that the amateur service rules allow amateur radio operators the
flexibility to provide emergency communications in a way that takes into account channel
availability and other local conditions, including the nature or the emergency and the location
with which communication is desired. For example, the present rules allow amateur radio
operators to use multiple channels on the same or different amateur band if needed for an event,
or use multiple channels in the same band when multiple but different events occur. We also note
that your proposal that the channel be a "non-exclusive nationwide" channel is, substantively, no
different from current channel priorities because all amateur service channel are shared and may
be used for providing emergency communications. Moreover, if such a "non-exclusive
nationwide" channel is needed, nothing in our rules prevents the amateur community from
voluntarily agreeing to designate a channel for this purpose. We conclude, therefore, that you
have not shown an existing problem that would be addressed by a rule change designating a
specific nationwide amateur service emergency calling frequency.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 4(i) of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), and Section 1.401(e) of the Commission's Rules, 47
'See 47 C.F.R 97.101(c).
a See Amendment of Part 95, Subpart B, Family Radio Service Rules Establishment of Channel 1
(462.5625 MHz) as a National Calling Channel, Order, 16 FCC Rcd. 21383, 21386 1 8, 21387-88 1 13
9 See id. at 213871 10.
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 11, Pages 8850 to 9847, July 30 - August 17, 2012, book, August 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc133015/m1/94/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.