Rural Radiotelephone Service

Rural Radiotelephone Service is a fixed wireless service that allows common carriers to provide telephone service to the homes of subscribers living in extremely remote rural areas, where it is not feasible to provide telephone service by wire or other means. Rural Radiotelephone Stations, operating in the paired 152- to 158-MHz and 454- to 459-MHz bands, employ standard duplex analog technology to provide telephone service to subscribers’ homes.

The quality of conventional rural radiotelephone service is similar to that of precellular mobile telephone service. Several subscribers may have to share a radio-channel pair (similar to party-line service), each waiting until the channel pair is not in use by the others before making or receiving a call. Rural Radiotelephone Service is generally considered by state regulators to be a separate service that is interconnected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This service has been available to rural subscribers for more than 25 years.

Carriers must apply to the FCC for permission to offer Rural Radiotelephone Service. Among other things, each application for a central office station must contain an exhibit showing that it is impractical to provide the required communication service by means of landline facilities.