The FCC voted Nov. 4 to allow technology companies to produce white spaces devices that will use the same RF spectrum now being used by wireless microphone systems. The exact wording of the final ruling is not yet available, but it’s said to greatly reduce the amount of clear spectrum available for use by professional audio and communications equipment.
The commission adopted certain elements of Shure’s recent wireless microphone interference protection plan; however, according to a press release, Shure is concerned that “despite technical evidence to the contrary, the commission’s action opens the door to a new breed of wireless gadgetry that relies on unproven technology as a safeguard against interference to wireless microphones.”
The company is also concerned that the FCC did not reserve an appropriate number of channels for flawless operation of wireless microphone equipment and did not address several important issues necessary to ensure a robust geolocation-based database for protection of large-scale events.
Mark Brunner, Shure’s senior director of global public and industry relations, said in a press release, “While not unexpected, today’s FCC decision will greatly complicate the lives of wireless microphone users across the United States and negatively affect tens of millions of Americans listening to live and broadcast events.”
In the past week, more than 50 members of Congress as well as multiple major sports organizations have called on the FCC to protect their ability to communicate with their audiences through wireless microphones.