It’s no secret that our freedom of speech is being threatened by strangers who monitor what we do and say every day. It’s why millions of Americans are seeking more secure ways to communicate.
Channels like CB, Family Radio Service, and General Mobile Radio Service are rising in popularity because:
They’re not monitored by Big Tech – In the last few years, it has become increasingly clear that Big Tech is monitoring the people and censoring viewpoints they don’t agree with. Utilizing alternative communication channels ensures you can still practice Freedom of Speech.
[Related Read: Big Tech Has a Censorship Problem. Here’s What You Need to Know.]
They can’t be shut down by the government – According to Human Rights Watch, “In the past year  governments in Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Myanmar and Zimbabwe shut down the internet in all or some parts of their countries.”
Fortunately, this hasn’t happened in America (yet), but we have seen the government try to control different communication platforms. This will be much harder to do with CB radios and other alternative communication channels.
- They’re a more reliable source of information when you need it the most – If the grid goes down (or you are simply in a remote area), telephone lines and cell phone towers won’t work. But CB radios will. Additionally, CB radios can be utilized to stay informed about what is happening in certain areas.
The Problem with Social Media
Statistics suggest that “around seven-in-ten Americans use social media to connect with one another” (Pew Research Center). According to Hootsuite, “There are now 4.48 billion social media users around the world, which is equal to almost 57% of the world’s total population.”
In other words, social media is a main form of communication for most Americans and most of the world.
However, there are numerous flaws when it comes to social media communication.
First, it is closely monitored. For example, Newsweek reports, “Big Tech companies have complied with 85 percent of the government's requests for user information in the first half of 2020.”
This means that, if local, state, or federal officials want access to look at your social media, in most instances, they can.
Next, if your viewpoints don’t line up with the “people in charge,” you can and will be censored or shadow banned.
Additionally, if the platform itself is seen as controversial, it can be shut down as we saw with Parler just a few months back.
After the Parler app was blamed for being used to spread information supporting the storming of the capitol on January 6, Apple, Google, and Amazon banned the app from its stores.
Even worse, Amazon removed Parler from its cloud hosting service, Amazon Web Services, which essentially shut the social media site down entirely.
As a result, other social media communication platforms have become available with the purpose of maintaining freedom of speech.
My Patriot Supply is active on these alternate channels, and we encourage you to join and follow.
- Gettr – This is an unbiased social media app similar to Twitter.
- Rumble – This video site defines itself as your rights management video platform. Host, distribute, and monetize all your professional, social, and viral videos.
- Gab – This is a free speech platform that gained a substantial number of users after Parler went offline.
The Answer? Alternative “Offline” Comms Channels like CB
When people think of alternative communication channels like CB radios, they tend to think of the 70s or truckers.
Sure, CB radios were popular back in the day. And, yes, they are also popular with truck drivers.
CB Radios Are a Secure, Reliable Comms Option
Citizens Band Radio Service, or CB radios, offers private two-communication service with multiple lines of communication using a “take turns” approach. When CB radios first came on the scene, users were required to have a license from the FCC, which limited who used them.
That’s no longer the case. Today, anyone can use a CB radio, as long as they use FCC-approved equipment. (You can see all the rules regarding personal radios here.)
The popularity and usefulness of CB radios are why the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved changes to the rules surrounding CB radios for the first time in years.
According to Equipment World, “The biggest change for CB radios in the U.S. since the late 1970s is coming, and it looks to be a good thing for improved voice quality and cutting through frustrating background noise common at the peak of day. The Federal Communications Commission recently approved FM to join alongside AM and single-sideband (SSB) modes on CBs.”
This is good news! By improving the quality of CB radios, it means they will prove even more useful in day-to-day life and emergency situations.
With the rise of mobile devices, many believe that CB radios (or personal radio services) are no longer necessary. This is untrue.
The Federal Communications Commission explains, “The CB Radio Service provides voice communications with other CB radio users and can be used to communicate over distances of up to approximately five miles but can reach greater distances depending upon the terrain. Further, in certain states, police monitor CB channel 9 and other communities of users monitor other channels (e.g., CB channel 19) for road information.”
CBs & Cell Phones: The Perfect Combo in Emergencies
While CB radios cannot reach coast to coast like mobile devices, there are multiple reasons why they are still useful and popular today.
- Poor signal – We’ve all been in a place where our cell phone service is weak (or nonexistent). With CB radios, this isn’t a problem. That’s why they are popular for off-roaders.
- Local, immediate, and up-to-date – One of the main reasons truckers use CB radios is because they can find up-to-date, local, immediate notifications about what is happening in the area with traffic and weather.
- Traffic notifications – As drivers encounter traffic or road blockages, they announce it on their CB radio so other drivers are aware.
- Weather warnings – While we always advise having a weather radio as part of your emergency supplies, another reason CB radios are helpful is that users can warn one another about weather conditions in the immediate area.
- Speed traps – It’s no secret that many users alert others to upcoming speed traps using CB radios.
- Group communication – Groups, such as motorcycle groups or emergency teams, like the ability to communicate with everyone at once using CB radios.
- Emergencies – The FCC has designated channel 9 for emergencies and roadside assistance. If you find yourself in need of emergency help, you can utilize this channel.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t rely on your cell. For emergencies, we suggest using your mobile phone where possible, and relying on CB as a rock-solid alternative (or backup) that will ensure you’re never out of touch.
Check Out These Other Alternative Communications Channels
CB radios aren’t the only form of personal radio services. There are others that are worth checking out:
- FRS - Family Radio Service offers private, close distance two-way communication, similar to walkie-talkies. It is a lowered-powered alternative to CB.
- GMRS - General Mobile Radio Service offers two-way communication for short distances and requires a license from the FCC. GMRS utilizes station operators and mobile or land stations. It is a higher-powered alternative to CB.
Find a way to communicate beyond your phone, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply