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FCC Improves On-line Interference Reporting


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The FCC’s Consumer Complaints page for reporting interference recently added a category for reporting interference to GMRS stations.  Previously, there was no way to report issues specific to GMRS, but there was for Broadcast, Amateur, etc.

 

This is a small but important development and may help combat the FCC’s recurring claim that “…we have received no reports of interference...”.   This statement has been common in most all Part 95 and GMRS rule-making proceedings over the last few decades to help justify further encroachment of FRS and support other policies that licensed GMRS licensees generally opposed.   We are not suggesting the Commission lied about the lack of complaints – they had not provided a way to report, categorize and centrally store them!     

 

The Northern California GMRS Users Group (NCGUG) encourages repeater owners and users to report recurring interference problems, such as unlicensed operation on repeater uplink channels, intentional jamming and abuse, and of course interference from FRS (co- or adjacent-channel).

We have been reporting recurring interference from maritime operations on our repeater uplinks for some time.

 

While the FCC rarely responds to such complaints, this may go a long way to eventually reducing the rising tide of interference sources that we all have to deal with.  

 

Brief instructions on how to use this site follow.

 

____________________________

 

https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us

 

Create an account (different from your ULS account)

 

File a complaint

 

Radio

 

Fill in Subject and Description

 

Radio Issues: INTERFERENCE

 

Radio Interference Sub Issue: TO LICENSED TWO_WAY RADIO SERVICES (LAND MOBILE, AVIATION, MARINE)

 

Your Radio Method: PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES (CB, FRS, GMRS)

 

Fill-in the remaining fields marked with “*”.

 

The site provides a selection of “To Unlicensed Service (CB, FRS GMRS)” under Radio Interference Sub Issue.  This incorrectly refers the GMRS as an unlicensed service, which it is not.  While we have requested a correction, we recommend using the “Licensed….” selection noted above instead.

 

Greg 

 

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Here is the canned response that you will likely receive:

 

FCC Consumer Help Center (FCC Complaints)

Feb 21, 3:15 PM EST

Hi Greg

Your complaint provides valuable information and is shared among FCC bureaus and offices to spot trends and practices that warrant investigation and enforcement action. If the FCC needs more information about your complaint, we will contact you directly.

Each year, the Enforcement Bureau takes hundreds of actions on behalf of consumers that result in tens of millions of dollars in penalties. These actions encourage companies and individuals to abide by the law and reduce future misconduct.

Thank you for your help in furthering the FCC’s mission on behalf of consumers.
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  • 5 months later...

Today the Northern California GMRS Users Group (NCGUG) reached a two-year milestone.  Since July 2016, we have filed 84 specific complaints of ongoing and repeated interference  related to unlicensed maritime traffic on our repeater uplink channel (affecting two repeaters).  We have yet to receive anything significant from Commission other than their canned response, but we did receive some meaningful help from the local enforcement office.  As a result, we were able to ID one of the shipping companies involved and reach out to them.  Of course, this is truly a whack-a-mole situation as it is an international shipping problem.     

 

However, we noted that the local enforcement office is not tied into this system at all and were unaware of any complaints.  We had to notify them directly.  Obviously some improvements are needed here....but this allows DC to filter this stuff for them. 

 

But this information may be critical someday in defending the GMRS and our interests.  I particularly encourage repeater owners to monitor their input frequencies for problems when possible as these are the most critical asset of a GMRS repeater system. 

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