Could CB Radio going FM? That’s what the FCC will be considering at the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Meeting on August 5th — and right now it appears likely to pass.
Cobra Electronics has petitioned an amendment to Part 95 rules to allow CB radios to use frequency modulation, a major change for the citizens band radio service. The change is likely a move to encourage new radio sales as the core features of CB radio haven’t changed in many years.
Cobra Electronics stated the change, “would allow users to enjoy the benefits of FM, if they so choose, while ensuring every new radio sold could communicate with all the existing radios in the field.” They also state the change would benefit both professional and recreational CB users in terms of FM providing better quality and clarity.
The first and most obvious worry is the interference this will inevitably cause. Can you imagine Channel 19 where some have FM, and others have an AM-only radio? Cobra says that operators can simply, “turn the channel,” if interference occurs. I believe the change would spur jamming, interference on popular channels, eventually pushing users to buy new radios. Then again, that’s what Cobra is hoping for.
The FCC sounds in favor of Cobra Electronics petition and is likely to pass the amendment.
“After considering this additional information, we conclude that allowing manufacturers to add FM as an optional modulation scheme will not substantially change the fundamental nature of the CB Radio Service and will improve the user experience, as described by Cobra and President. How people use the service will not materially change or be expanded. Further, Cobra states that AM is a “well established” operating mode that is unlikely to disappear, even if we permit operations in FM mode,” the FCC stated in it’s response.
Are you ready for FM CB Radio? Sure seems like it’s coming.