I don't "get" the FCC and its priorities

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wbswetnam

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I have done a lot of reading about how the FCC zealously monitors amatuer radio operators, and is quick to issue letters to hams for infractions. Yet, there are CB freebanders galore and even more egregiously, there are the CB channel 6 ding-dongs running tens of thousands of watts on a band which should be limited to only four watts maximum. The FCC doesn't do anything about CB it seems. Is it simply easier for the FCC to punish hams because they self-identify?
 

fxdscon

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I have done a lot of reading about how the FCC zealously monitors amatuer radio operators, and is quick to issue letters to hams for infractions. Yet, there are CB freebanders galore and even more egregiously, there are the CB channel 6 ding-dongs running tens of thousands of watts on a band which should be limited to only four watts maximum. The FCC doesn't do anything about CB it seems. Is it simply easier for the FCC to punish hams because they self-identify?
FCC Fines CBer for Operating Illegal Transmitter With Linear
 

wbswetnam

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Well, maybe they make a token prosecution once in a while, but there's still a whole lot more out there. Listen to CB channel 6 (27.025 AM mode) sometime, especially on a Sunday. It's unreal.
 
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That's the downside to making a service license by rule. Priorities on enforcing rules become low. They'll act if it causes issues with commercial /military /ham but other than that it is difficult.


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TheSpaceMan

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I have done a lot of reading about how the FCC zealously monitors amatuer radio operators, and is quick to issue letters to hams for infractions. Yet, there are CB freebanders galore and even more egregiously, there are the CB channel 6 ding-dongs running tens of thousands of watts on a band which should be limited to only four watts maximum. The FCC doesn't do anything about CB it seems. Is it simply easier for the FCC to punish hams because they self-identify?
The FCC has neither the time, the money, or the inclination to bother with CBers, unless they are operating in a truly outrageous manner. CBers are not licensed, so they can initially argue that they were never made aware of regulations. And yes, it is a lot more difficult to ID a CBer who is not using any identifiable call sign. Hams for the most part use their legitimate call letters, so the FCC can ID them in seconds.
 

zz0468

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It's easy to understand the priority. Amateur radio is a useful service that can serve the public interest. CB is not.
 

pgnsucks

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Take the example of the banking crisis the top guys with the money and lawyers really did not see any issues. Now the little fish without the high dollars' a few of them got tackled.

Just figure the government is corrupt and try to live out your life the best you can.
 

Darth_vader

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"Amateur radio is a useful service that can serve the public interest. CB is not."

Considering that HAM and part-95 are both amateur radio, they're both useful services that serve the public interest. The one just has a bigger ego and more dogmatic attitude about it than the other.
 

n9mxq

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The one just has a bigger ego and more dogmatic attitude about it than the other.

Now that there is truth!

Also, Amateur Radio is "self policed" more than citizens band. We care about our spectrum and how it's used, and will report infractions.

Citizens Band, which I use regularly, isn't. Both have their place, and uses.
 

n5ims

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I have done a lot of reading about how the FCC zealously monitors amatuer radio operators, and is quick to issue letters to hams for infractions. Yet, there are CB freebanders galore and even more egregiously, there are the CB channel 6 ding-dongs running tens of thousands of watts on a band which should be limited to only four watts maximum. The FCC doesn't do anything about CB it seems. Is it simply easier for the FCC to punish hams because they self-identify?
Perhaps it isn't the FCC doing all that monitoring, but hams themselves that are monitoring and reporting violations to help keep the ham bands generally operating legally. The FCC has a policy where they consider the ham bands to be "self policing". To assist, the ARRL has set up the Official Observer Program (Official Observer) to train hams to correctly observe, identify, document, and report violations so the FCC can use minimal effort to validate those reports and issue violation notices. The OO folks don't just report the bad operators, but also have a way to report folks that they identify as "Good Operators" that go above and beyond the norm so they can receive recognition and commendation for helping improve the amateur community.

Perhaps if there were the same general attitude among the CB crowd where apparent violators are logged and reported the CB bands would have more infractions on that band as well. It also doesn't help that the general attitude is that any violations on the CB bands will go unnoticed or unreported while those in the ham band, thanks to the OO folks, will be noticed and reported.
 
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zz0468

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Considering that HAM and part-95 are both amateur radio...
By definition, this is incorrect.

they're both useful services that serve the public interest.
If it's in the public service to have a chaotic and undisciplined radio service that is limited by it's rules to frequencies and power levels that are intended to limit coverage, then I suppose that could be deemed as "useful".

I'm trying not to generalize Part 95 as a whole, I am specifically referring to the 40 channels at 27 MHz.

The one just has a bigger ego and more dogmatic attitude about it than the other.
But it's that "bigger ego and more dogmatic attitude" that has kept amateur radio from descending into the chaos that limits the utility of CB. Personally, I much prefer the ego and dogma. It's clear that you don't, and that's ok.

I think we both realize that it's very unlikely that we will cross paths on the air anytime soon. Pretty sure you'd find me to be arrogant and condescending. =)
 

W9BU

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Folks, the topic here is how FCC policing policies differ between Amateur Radio (Part 97) and other amateur radio (Part 95) services.

Please stay on topic and be careful which bait you choose to take.
 

wbswetnam

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I can see how it might take quite a bit of effort on the part of the FCC to chase down after CB pirates... and if they only wind up collecting a few hundred bucks off of each one (see the link posted above), then it's not very cost-effective. Plus it gives a controlled outlet for radio spectrum scofflaws, kind of like how the Border Patrol "allows" holes cut in the border fence (I used to live in a US / Mexico border community, I should know) so the border jumpers can be more easily monitored. By somewhat tolerating the CB channel 6 broadcasters, the FCC can quietly corral them to an isolated corner of the radio spectrum instead of them spreading out and doing far worse (!).
 

prcguy

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Umm, not really. CB was never intended to be an amateur radio service. A very long time ago when REACT was first established and a few law enforcement groups monitored CH 9, CB had the potential to serve the public interest but that was short lived. I also don't consider people reporting the locations of smokey as serving the public interest. In fact the only interest CB currently serves is the egos of its operators and the more power and layers of echo apparently make points somewhere in the CB food chain.

I spent the the first six or seven years of my early career selling, installing and repairing CB radios in the peak heyday of CB. I have met and dealt with literally thousands of CB operators in my time and can say the intent of your post is 180 deg from reality.
prcguy

"Amateur radio is a useful service that can serve the public interest. CB is not."

Considering that HAM and part-95 are both amateur radio, they're both useful services that serve the public interest. The one just has a bigger ego and more dogmatic attitude about it than the other.
 
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LtDoc

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This whole thread has turned into the common 'CB vs. Ham' completely made-up nonsense. Surprise surprise... Right? Somewhere I have a 'Hurt Feelings' report form, I'll try to post it so those that need to fill it out can do so.
What's the point in any of this garbage, can any one tell me that? It solves nothing.
- 'Doc
 

zz0468

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This whole thread has turned into the common 'CB vs. Ham' completely made-up nonsense. Surprise surprise... Right?
Well, yes and no...

The OP is asking why there is a difference in FCC enforcement action between CB and ham radio.That requires a discussion of the differences between the two services. We all know how that discussion turns out, but in this case, I think it's actually relevant.
 

N0IU

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I have done a lot of reading about how the FCC zealously monitors amateur radio operators, and is quick to issue letters to hams for infractions.
What I want to know is what the OP is reading? Maybe this was true when Riley was in charge of enforcement, but now that the country is over $17 trillion in debt, I would have to say that the days of the white vans roaming around "zealously" looking for illegal use of the airwaves is over... and has been over for quite some time. And saying they are quick to issue letters of infractions... there is no part of any federal agency that has any sense of urgency about it!
 

W9BU

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Part of the reason why we don't see reports of FCC action against individuals is that the FCC has taken on a policy of protecting the identity of possible offenders. They may be issuing letters to individuals asking them to explain their actions on the air, but until that offense results in a fine, or Notice of Apparent Liability, the FCC records are being kept from public view. Amateur Radio Newsline and the ARRL routinely report on FCC enforcement actions, but they have nothing to report until the FCC makes it public.
 

W9BU

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What you see is pretty much the end result of their enforcement actions. In other words, the FCC has completed their investigation. You don't see the letters, interviews, and fact finding that goes on prior to them taking some sort of legal action.
 
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