Is it legal to link GMRS repeaters?

Is it legal to link GMRS repeaters?

Based on the FCC regulations regarding this topic, it is in fact legal to link GMRS repeaters. However, it is not legal to link a GMRS repeater to the PTSN (regular telephone) system. That means telephone calls cannot be made from, or in to, a GMRS repeater using the public phone service (autopatch). Our repeaters utilize a VoIP connection between them. The network that the repeaters are connected to is "closed" and does not have any ability to be dialed in to, or out of using a telephone line. Additionally, the network is setup so that access is only provided to licensed GMRS operators, to further adhere to FCC regulations pertaining to repeater station operators.

A question was submitted to the FCC inquiring about this topic. Below is the response received:

Case Id: HD0000002998556

Summary: Licensing Requirements

Description: There seems to be a lot of confusion as to whether linking the audio of two or more GMRS repeaters via an internet connection is permitted or prohibited under the part 95 rules.

Could we please get some sort of clarification as to whether this is a strictly prohibited action per part 95 rules?

Thank you.

Solution Description: Dear Mr. *******,

GMRS stations may not be interconnected to the public switched telephone network as per 95.127. However, proposing to use a VoIP link between the two repeater sites is permissible if the link is considered non-interconnected VoIP. VoIP can either be an interconnected VoIP service or non-interconnected VoIP service, see the definitions below. It is my understanding that if your internet provider is the cable company, it's fine; but if you have DSL or dial-up internet from the phone company, it isn't.

The second method using RF to link the two repeater sites is allowed so long as the link meets the rules and limitations for fixed stations pursuant to the Part 95 rules.

64.601

(23) Non-interconnected VoIP service. The term "non-interconnected VoIP service"

(i) Means a service that

(A) Enables real-time voice communications that originate from or terminate to the user's location using Internet protocol or any successor protocol; and

(B) Requires Internet protocol compatible customer premises equipment; and

(ii) Does not include any service that is an interconnected VoIP service.

9.3

Interconnected VoIP service. An interconnected Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service is a service that:

(1) Enables real-time, two-way voice communications;

(2) Requires a broadband connection from the user's location;

(3) Requires Internet protocol-compatible customer premises equipment (CPE); and

(4) Permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network.

The rules may be found at the following website: https://www.fcc.gov/general/rules-regulations-title-47

Should you have any further questions, or need additional information, please submit a request through https://esupport.fcc.gov/onlinerequest.htm or call the FCC Licensing Support Center at 1-877-480-3201, selecting option 2 after the main menu.

Sincerely,

FCC Licensing Support Center

For additional information and discussion, visit: https://forums.radioreference.com/gmrs-frs/354230-response-fcc-linking-repeater-audio-over-internet-its-legality.html