Family Radio Service (FRS) is one of the Citizens Band Radio Services. It is for family, friends, and associates to communicate among themselves within their neighborhood and while on group outings. Users may select any of the 14 FRS channels on a “take turns” basis. No FRS channel is assigned to any specific individual or organization.
Although manufacturers advertise a range of up to 2 miles, users can expect a communication range of less than 1 mile. Although FRS may be used for business-related communications, it cannot be connected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and used for telephone calls. License documents are neither needed nor issued.
FRS Rule 1 provides all the authority necessary to operate an FRS unit in places where the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates radio communications as long as an unmodified FCC-certified FRS unit is only used. An FCC-certified FRS unit has an identifying label placed on it by the manufacturer. There is no age or citizenship requirement.
FRS units may be operated within the territorial limits of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and the Caribbean and Pacific insular areas. Such units also may be operated on or over any other area of the world, except within the territorial limits of areas where radio communications are regulated by another agency of the United States or within the territorial limits of any foreign government.
Users cannot make any internal modification to an FRS unit. Any internal modification cancels the FCC certification and voids the user’s authority to operate the unit over the FRS. In addition, users may not attach any antenna, power amplifier, or other apparatus to an FRS unit that has not been FCC certified as part of that FRS unit. There are no exceptions to this rule, and attaching any such apparatus to an FRS unit cancels the FCC certification and voids everyone’s authority to operate the unit over the FRS.
Family Radio Service is used for conducting two-way voice communications with another person. One-way transmission may be used only to establish communications with another person, send an emergency message, provide traveler assistance, make a voice page, or conduct a brief test. Operators must, at all times and on all channels, give priority to emergency communication messages concerning the immediate safety of life or the immediate protection of property.