01.15.2010 08:00 PM
FCC Boots Wireless Mics From 700 MHz Band
WASHINGTON: The FCC has prohibited the further
distribution and sale of devices that operate in the 700 MHz band, which is
being cleared for public safety and 4G consumer communications gear.
Spectrum in the 700 MHz band was auctioned to several wireless service
providers following the June 12, 2009 DTV transition. The FCC’s Order and
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will mostly affect wireless microphones.
“These unlicensed devices cannot continue to operate in this band because they
may cause harmful interference to public safety entities and next generation
consumers devices that will be utilizing the 700 MHz frequency,” the commission
said. “Thus, the commission is making clear that no devices utilizing this
frequency may be sold or distributed”
A sunset period running through mid-June was provided for those currently using
700 MHz wireless mics. As of June 12, 2010, one year after the DTV transition,
use of those mics will be prohibited.
The FCC said it was initiating an “aggressive consumer outreach plan” for folks
who may not know if they’re system is compliant, or if it might be retuned to
another frequency. The related Web site is at www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones.
Shure, the Niles, Ill., mic manufacturer, has been preparing its customers for
the band-clearing for months. The company first fought the FCC’s effort to
remove mics from the 700 MHz band, then offered a rebate program on its own 700
MHz systems as well as those made by certain other manufacturers. That program originally
ended Dec. 31 but has since been extended to June 30, 2010 (See “Shure Extends 700 MHz
Rebate Program”). -- Deborah D.