House bill would require FCC to authorize wireless mic database

January 14, 2010

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-IL, has introduced legislation in the House that would require the FCC to authorize access by owners and operators of wireless microphones to a geolocation database maintained for the purpose of prohibiting the operation of unlicensed TV band devices on protected frequencies.

Representatives from Google — a proponent of using white spaces for such unlicensed devices as home networks — have asked to help monitor the database, although many have criticized this as move as tantamount as allowing a fox to watch the henhouse.

The legislation proposes to protect 13 different classes of wireless microphone users from interference that could result from the operation of new devices that the FCC has approved for “white space” frequencies currently occupied by wireless microphone users.

Sandy LaMantia, president and CEO of Shure, a wireless microphone manufacturer, supports Rush’s proposed legislation, saying “new white space devices and wireless microphone users can certainly coexist in the white spaces if the new FCC policy reflects an appreciation for the different classes of wireless microphone users who deserve protection from interference.”

The Rush legislation, H.R. 4353, would require the FCC to provide access to an electronic database where wireless microphone users will register their frequencies, thereby protecting their operation from interference from signals transmitted from the newly approved white spaces devices.

The 13 classes of wireless microphone users in the Rush bill include amusement parks, arenas, convention centers, educational facilities, fairgrounds, government facilities, houses of worship, lodging facilities, museums, recording studios, restaurants, stadiums and theaters.

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