UPDATE: THE DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MARCH 1, 2010!
By Clive Young.
There’s been a lot of concern in recent years over the FCC’s handling of the wireless frequencies that pro audio gear uses every day. With the coming introduction of TV Band Devices that will operate in the same wireless spectrum as most of the pro audio community, people who rely on wireless mics, production intercoms, personal monitors and the like are increasingly scared that their equipment won’t work when they need it the most. Well, you can finally have a say in the matter—but the deadline is March 1.
The FCC is asking for comments from pro audio gear users before March 1. Shure, Inc., which has spearheaded most of the pro audio community’s efforts to be heard in the halls of the FCC, is asking everyone who could be affected by these rulings—and you know who you are—to take a moment to weigh in with the FCC on the matter. If you’re not certain what to say or where to send your comments, Shure can help with that too, providing guideline instructions and a letter template if you request them at [email protected]. For that matter, Shure can also assist you in filing the comments with the FCC.
Here’s how Shure explains the situation and why it’s so important for the pro audio community to be speak up immediately:
After nearly 35 years, the Federal Communications Commission is considering expanding its licensing rules for wireless microphones, personal monitors, production intercom systems and similar equipment that operates in the television broadcast (VHF and UHF) band.
Until now, only broadcasters, motion picture and television program producers, and similar entities were eligible for licenses. The FCC is aware that wireless microphones are used today by musical performers, houses of worship, theaters, schools, businesses and many other types of entities.
The FCC permits wireless microphone operation either with or without a license. However, in the near future, licensed users may be afforded greater protection against interference from future consumer wireless TV Band Devices (both fixed and portable) that will operate in the same spectrum as wireless microphones.
The FCC is seeking comments from wireless users that will assist them in determining who should be eligible for a wireless microphone license. They need to know how you use wireless systems and how your productions and/or your business would be affected by sporadic interference from new TV Band Devices.
If you rely on wireless audio equipment, it is critical that you submit comments to the FCC before the deadline of March 1, 2010.
For guidelines on how you can submit comments on this issue, send an email message to [email protected]. You will receive a reply message with details on what information must be included in your comments and how to file them with the FCC.
Speak now, or you may have to forever hold your peace, whether you want to or not.