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FCC order clears 700MHz frequency for public safety, next-generation wireless devices

The FCC last week adopted an Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking prohibiting the further distribution and sale of devices operating in the 700MHz frequency, such as wireless mics.

The move clears the 700 MHz band to enable the rollout of public safety communications services and the deployment of next generation 4G wireless consumers.

The primary impact of the order will be on the use of wireless microphone systems currently operating in the 700 MHz band. The 700MHz wireless mic systems are being disallowed in the band because they could cause harmful interference to public safety entities and next-generation consumer devices using the frequency. The order explicitly prohibits the sale and distribution of such systems.

To ensure that individuals and groups currently using unauthorized devices in this band have enough time to transition to appropriate frequencies, the FCC is providing a sunset period until June 12, 2010.

The commission is also unveiling a consumer outreach plan to assist consumers who previously purchased wireless mic systems and other devices that use the 700MHz band.