There’s been a ton of discussion online by CB radio users in the months leading up to the big decision by the FCC but the decision is now final and FM is an approved mode in the USA. What does this mean for the average CB user? Not much right now.
FM as a mode has either been ignored or enjoyed by CB users for years. In the USA FM has not been included on CB radios as it wasn’t an approved mode, but export radios have had FM available for a very long time and some operators used it while others never bothered. In Europe, FM is a very popular mode and is widely used (more than AM). Radios sold in Europe have included both AM and FM for a long time so this decision is a smart one by the FCC and will benefit the radio manufacturers as they can now produce higher quantities of one model without having to design both a USA and European model. This might help reduce radio costs in the long run. The benefit for users is the FM experiences less interference than AM so you can have clearer conversations, however there are some limitations in distance and on the wide open roads many people might be better off using AM or SSB while in cities FM may be a better choice.
For most users in the USA though, AM will still be the mode of choice and those who use SSB most of the time won’t really care either.
While FM has been approved there are no FCC approved CB radios with FM so until companies begin producing those it’s just as illegal to transmit on FM as it has been for the last 50 years.
Here is an article discussing some of the benefits of FM and the new rules.