FCC: No Wireless Mikes in 700-MHz Band
FCC votes unanimously to prohibit use of wireless microphones, other devices in 700-megahertz band after DTV transition.
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/21/2008 12:56:00 PM
The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to prohibit the use of wireless microphones and other devices in the 700-megahertz band after the transition to digital.
FCC chairman Kevin Martin proposed the ban earlier this month.
The FCC also wants to prohibit the manufacture, sale, import or shipment of such devices that operate in the 700-MHz band.
The devices have been sharing the spectrum with broadcasters on those channels (52-69), but those channels are being reclaimed for advanced wireless uses by industry and first-responders after the Feb. 17, 2009, transition to DTV.
The FCC said the move affects 156 licenses, but only 30 are not also authorized to operate in other bands that will still be available after the transition, including some DTV-spectrum band.
Effective on release of the order, there will be a freeze on applications for any "low-power auxiliary station," which is the category that includes the wireless mikes, as well as equipment that synchronizes TV-camera signals.
The commission also sought comment on a proposal to authorize current unauthorized users in the 700 mHz band--many wireless mike users are not licensed, in violation of FCC rules--by alowing them to operator on channels below 52-69. It will also look into complaints about the marketing of those microphones.
Harold Feld of Media Access Project, which pushed the proposal and marketing investigation, said MAP was pleased the FCC had made a quick and definitive decision. "It shows that they are taking us seriously," he told B&C. "We certainly hope that this will be resolved before the DTV transition on Feb. 17, and hope the FCC adopts our road map on how to move forward, which protects members of the public, allows for opening the spectrum for all productive wireless devices and punishes only those who illegally marketed the devices in the first place."
David Donovan of the Association for Maximum Service Television has pointed out that the move will reduce the spectrum available for wireless mikes used by news reporters and newsrooms and would "appear to make it more difficult to place unlicensed devices on channels 21-51 since the demand for wireless-mike spectrum will increase on those channels."
The FCC is currently testing those unlicensed devices as it decides how and whether to allow them to share DTV spectrum.
Mark Brunner, Shure’s senior director, public and industry relations, for major mike manufacturer, responded.
“Shure plans to work closely with the FCC during this rulemaking process," he said in an e-mail to B&C. "In anticipation of changes in the 700 MHz band, Shure ceased manufacture, marketing and sale of all wireless microphone products in this frequency range, the last of which was discontinued in 2007," he said.
So are the people who paid off our government to screw us out of using the equipment we paid for going to be using signals that will over power ours, and interfere with our signals in effect ruining our shows? Its nice to see our rogue all powerful government agencies can without consequence screw individuals to get more bribes from corporations to sell something that belongs to the public.
Don't want to give it.... we are talking about the government here - 4/16/2010 9:58:40 PM EDT
Whoever bought the frequencies I've been LEGALLY using for years will not be happy on Fri & Saturday nights when I'm using them, lol I'm not giving up my Wireless mics without being compensated fully!
Every night I'm someplace else as a MOBILE entertainer. That should be fun trying to take away my transmitters. lol I have several in those bands.
Then like the last comment, how about the thousands of us Mobile DJ's? There are as many Videographers & other small business owners around the country using these frequencies? Is the FCC going to come get us all one by one and take away our microphones, or are they going to 'Block the Band' somehow?
Everyone bend over while Uncle Sam sells off something else to Corporate America. Then they'll need bailing out too I bet!
DJ Anonymous - 3/16/2009 10:32:10 PM EDT
Apparently the FCC in its infinie wisdon did not bother to consider the THOUSANDS of Mobile DJs (like myself) that use these frequencies in our everyday work.
Jim Casey - 8/23/2008 11:21:00 AM EDT
Although we had only a little bit of a warning that this may happen, are videographers who have long had wireless mics in this range now screwed? You can bet though that these videographers are going to continue to use that equipment unless they technically cannot, such as if they experience interference.
Why doesn't the government come up with some kind of trade-in program for equal equipment in another band? They spent billions on basic converter boxes but they won't do anything for videographers?
Thank goodness I bought equipment in the 600 range!
Matt Headley - 8/22/2008 2:20:00 PM EDT
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