Licensed Frequencies: 5 Things to Know

Did you know that all owners of VHF or UHF two way radios that have either a power output greater than 0.5W or a detachable antenna must be licensed by Industry Canada? In fact, it is illegal to possess, install, or operate a radio without proper authorization from Industry Canada. Here are the 5 things that you should know:

  1. Industry Canada assesses an annual fee of $41.00 per radio for the right to use approved “open” frequencies up to the capacity of the radio.
  2. “Open” frequencies can be licensed for use by anyone, but they are only approved within defined geographic areas.
  3. Each frequency that is programmed into a VHF or UHF two-way radio must be authorized and appear on the licence issued by Industry Canada.
  4. Fixed-location radios cannot contain “open” frequencies and must use assigned “private” frequencies. “Private” frequencies are assigned by Industry Canada, and may be used only in the assigned area. Annual fees for “private” frequencies range anywhere from $125.00 for a rural location up to $250.00 for a busy urban location. The annual fee for “private” frequencies is per frequency—not per radio.
  5. Potential fines for owners who are not licensed properly can range from $5000.00 to $25,000.00.

To summarize, licensing fees are insubstantial relative to the peace of mind that results from owning and operating a properly licensed two way radio; furthermore, there is real value in knowing that proper licensing ensures safer two way radio communications for all users. Plus, a current licence protects your valuable radio equipment and hard-earned money from government intervention.

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