FCC Launches National Unlicensed Wireless Mic Registration System

Last week the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 12-1957) announcing the nationwide launch of its unlicensed wireless microphone registration system.

For details on how the system works, see my article FCC's Unlicensed Wireless Mic Registration Opens which describes the limited opening of the system in the northeast United States.

As a reminder, unlicensed microphone registration is only available for “major events where large numbers of wireless microphones will be used and cannot be accommodated in the available channels.” Operators of unlicensed wireless microphones must first file a request for registration and establish that they have met the necessary requirements to qualify for registration.

A list of websites for the TV bands database system is available at http://www.fcc.gov/help/database-administrators-unlicensed-wireless-microphones.

In a separate Public Notice (DA 12-1956 the FCC announced that it is authorizing an approved TV white space database system to assist in using unlicensed radio devices that operate on unused TV channels in the East Coast region. The FCC anticipates authorizing nationwide operation of TV white space databases by mid-January, 2013.

TV and radio broadcasters using licensed wireless microphones should start entering their wireless microphone channel usage and schedules in one of the TV white space databases to ensure protection from TV band white space devices.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.