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Citizens' Band Service

Volume 417: debated on Thursday 26 February 1981

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asked Her Majesty's Government:If they have now reached a decision on the introduction of a legal citizens' band service.

After careful consideration my right honourable friend has decided to permit a 27 MHz FM citizens' band service, provided that the equipment meets the standards we shall set. The 27 MHz AM equipment currently used in this country will remain illegal. Further evaluation of 930 MHz equipment has confirmed that this should provide a good service with minimum risk of interference, and accordingly he will also be making available a frequency band around 930 MHz. Users will be required to hold a licence which will permit the use of both types of equipment, and which will be renewable annually. Consultations are taking place with the Post Office with a view of their issuing licences on my right honourable friend's behalf.It will now be necessary to discuss draft equipment specifications with manufacturers, to seek the advice of the statutory advisory committee under Section 10 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 on the technical requirements to ensure the minimum of interference, and to reflect the outcome of this in regulations setting equipment standards to which manufacturers, importers and assemblers will have to conform. Arrangements will also have to be made for the setting up of the licensing system. The adoption of a frequency in the 27 MHz range may affect existing authorised users of this band, and the implications for them are being taken into account in the detailed planning. My right honourable friend hopes to be able to introduce this authorised service by early autumn.