UBIT Policy: Portable Two-way FM Radio Use

Category: Information Technology

Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Responsible Executive: Vice President and Chief Information Officer (VPCIO)

Date Established: May 7, 2019

Date Last Updated: May 24, 2024

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This policy establishes the use and governing principles associated with portable two-way FM radios (radios) for work-related communication within the UBIT enterprise organization.

Policy Statement

UBIT staff are assigned portable 2-way FM radios for the purpose of work-related communication during work hours. Radios are used for work-related, timely, and efficient communication. Staff are required to use their assigned radio appropriately as part of their duties. Staff are expected to maintain their radios to ensure good working conditions.

UBIT maintains a central inventory of radio assets. In addition, all sites should maintain an up-to-date radio inventory, including make, model, manufacturer, serial number, and quantity for the radios in their possession.

UBIT staff who are assigned portable radios must abide by the following protocols:

  1. Use radio in accordance with FCC regulations. Radios are FCC-regulated and can be heard throughout the University at Buffalo and the surrounding metropolitan area.
  2. Use radio for work-related conversation only. Non-work-related radio use such as casual conversations, profanity, inappropriate remarks, and outbursts of music is prohibited by FCC rules and University regulations.
  3. Use/maintain radio as outlined in “Instructions for Radio Use.”
  4. Carry/wear radio during work hours.
  5. Turn on radio at the beginning of work hours.
  6. Test radio at the beginning of work hours.
  7. Keep radio set to the appropriate channel as directed by your supervisor.
  8. Use assigned radio number or name, known as your call sign.
  9. Remove non-functioning radios from service and notify proper authorities.
  10. Avoid making repeated calls to contact a station. If you have tried 2-3 times with no answer, then make contact some other way.
  11. Keep transmissions as short as possible. Think before starting to transmit in order to limit the number and length of transmissions.
  12. Restrict all transmissions to the minimum necessary in order to get the message across. When possible, use an alternative format for lengthy communications (example: phone call, video chat, etc.).
  13. Interrupt an in-progress transmission only in case of an emergency. In an emergency, the caller should key the mic and indicate or declare an emergency. All traffic in progress shall clear the net and remain off the net until the emergency is terminated. The initiator of the emergency call shall indicate when the emergency is over by broadcasting “emergency is terminated” and “call sign clear.”
  14. Abide by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations governing radio frequency use. The FCC is authorized by law to formulate and enforce regulations governing radio frequency use. All radio users are required to follow FCC rules and regulations and failure to comply may result in substantial fines levied against the University. The regulations below are of particular importance and are enforced by the FCC:

Use of indecent, obscene, or profane language is strictly prohibited: "Whoever utters an obscene, indecent or profane language by means of radio communication shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.” (Title 18, US Code, Chapter 71, paragraph 1464).

Federal law states that radio users may transmit only the following types of communications:

  • Any communication related directly to the imminent safety of life and property. Federal law provides such emergency transmission with priority over all other communications.
  • Communications directly related and necessary to those activities which make the licensee eligible for the license, i.e. University business.
  • Communications for testing purposes required for proper radio system maintenance.


This policy applies to UBIT staff.


UBIT staff who are assigned two-way radios must remain in compliance with this policy. Violation(s) of this policy shall be grounds for corrective action.


UBIT staff

  • Use radio in accordance with policy.
  • Take reasonable care of assigned radio to ensure it is not damaged, lost, or stolen.
  • In case of loss, the employee shall be responsible for the replacement cost of the radio.
  • File a police report, update radio inventory, and contact the supervisor within 24 hours for further instructions in case of a lost or stolen radio.
  • Obtain and sign the following documents from your supervisor; “Radio Assignment Terms and Conditions of Use” and “State University of New York at Buffalo Property Removal Authorization Form.”

Contact Information

Vice President and Chief Information Officer

517 Capen Hall


(716) 645-7979

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