6 May 2016

CB Radio Frequencies Under Threat?

The following rather disturbing message has been posted by the ECBF (European Citizens Band Federation):

"Last week, a meeting of the European Communications Committee (ECC) was held in Vilnius (Lithuania). The ECC Decision (11) 03 which recommends the free use of CB and the application of the standard EN300433 (AM-FM 4W and 12W pep SSB) has been revised. (Link to document: http://www.ecbf.eu/Docs/ECCDEC1103.PDF)

The ECBF participated in that meeting, (Mr. Oscar Espallargas, President of the ECBF and Mr. Martijn Verhoef, Member of ECBF in Netherlands) denouncing the non-application of the Decision (11)03 in several countries member of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT).

The most surprising thing was that some participants warned us of the "off the record", that the countdown had started to make disappear the CB 27 MHz in less than 10 years.

The first step has been to delete the record of users.

A series of groups have forced several administrations to stop: to register, to issue licenses and authorizations. Several manufacturers and importers, influenced by these groups and with the belief of increasing their sales, have supported these measures.

As a result, if before CB had little or no protection from administrations against interference from other services being in industrial scientific and medical band, now that the administrations no longer know the number of users, what will happen in the future? If the users are no longer protected, it means more QRM in the 27 MHz band.

The next step will be in five years or sooner (every five years, decisions are revised by ECC). They will start to propose other uses of the 27 MHz band (it is already happening), and as there are no users and as it is an ICM band, they can easily declare the free frequency for any kind of use. In the next revision of the ECC Decision (11) 03, the little support to CB can simply be cancelled and disappear.

How can we avoid it? It has been suggested us that only the figures can stop this process; number of users, number of CB transceivers sold and manufactured, number of accessories, etc. We must provide these figures to the CEPT in order to justify the existence of a real market.

The administrations can’t facilitate the number of users, only the federations can provide this type of information. We must provide these numbers to the CEPT.

The other numbers belong to private industry, which datas are confidential and hard to get. We should try to get this type of information to continue giving life to the CB.

The ECBF has a lot of work ahead"

So it would appear that some countries are already eyeing up the 27MHz CB frequencies for other uses? Without any official or accurate user information it would be easy for governments to just say 'There's no-one using it, so give the frequencies to someone else".

If they are seriously considering allowing other users onto the frequencies this could be a very worrying time for CB users across Europe, and don't just think this will affect those who use the 'legal' system - Freebanders/Pirates will be affected just the same when they deploy paging systems or other commercial broadcasts all across the 26-28MHz band!

ECBF Website: LINK
ECBF Facebook Page: LINK