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Public safety agencies as well as businesses apply to the Federal Communications Commission for radio frequency licenses. For the most part, an entity cannot operate a radio system without a license. The F.C.C., in conjunction with local and national coordination groups, determine whether a particular radio frequency is available for the applicant in his or her area based upon other nearby users of the frequency, the proposed power at which the transmitting station will operate, the station's elevation, etc.

To program a two-way radio or a scanner, you need to know what frequency (or frequencies) a public safety agency or a business operates on. The Police Call Guide has been discontinued but we still have some stock left of the 2005 edition which includes a CD-ROM of frequencies in use nationwide. Check under Books in the menu for Police Call, an invaluable resource on sale now.
You can also go to the F.C.C. web site to search for the latest new licenses. See elsewhere in this section. As a registered user of this site, you can also receive daily license updates by selecting the Daily FCC updates item in this menu.
The best national resource for frequency information is found at www.radioreference.com . Just create a user name and password for free (although donations are welcome) and then go to the RRDatabase for all the information you could ever want on frequencies and trunking talkgroups for your area or any area in the nation.