Use of CB equipment for commercial purposes

Australian Radio Communications Industry Association
By Christian Kelly - president, Australian Radio Communications Industry Association
Tuesday, 19 June, 2012

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has designated a segment of the UHF frequency band for class-licensed equipment to operate on a designated channel plan throughout all areas of Australia. This spectrum is often referred to as the CB band.

These channels and the equipment operating on them play an important role in providing recreational users and travellers with spectrum for their use. The ACMA offers no protection against interference for services operating in this band and does not monitor the channels for inappropriate or improper use.

As CB radio is open to use by anybody, there can be no certainty of airtime availability at the time when a transmission is required. The use of any given channel by a third party is unpredictable and hence the medium is unreliable for essential business applications or where safety is impacted.

While the ACMA does not mandate the functions that CB channels can be used for, Australian workplace legislation and OH&S policies invariably indicate that CB equipment is not suitable for any function where worker safety and/or critical business activity is reliant on the equipment. The risk to any company using this technology is significant.

This statement was reinforced by the ACMA in a public forum in Adelaide where Andrew Kerans, representing the ACMA, stated that although there is no legislation that directly prohibits the use of CB radio for commercial purposes, should a worker become injured as a result of this technology being inappropriately chosen, then the person and company concerned may be required to answer questions about culpability in a court of law.

Taking the above factors into consideration, ARCIA does not recommend that CB radios be used for commercial purposes. Furthermore, ARCIA strongly advocates that when worker safety could be impacted by the radio’s availability, licensed channels and commercial-grade equipment should be used.

Thank you to Jeff Perry from the ARCIA SA sub-committee for this initiative.

In other news, ARCIA will be holding an industry dinner and networking event at the National Wine Centre of Australia on 20 September. The last event held in Queensland featured MP Ros Bates, Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts and breakfast radio presenter Spencer Howson, of Queensland. Please register your interest by emailing

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