The Federal Communications Commission has extended the deadline for public comments relating to proposed changes in wireless microphone licensing rules. The comment period, which would have expired on February 22, now closes on March 1, 2010.
The Commission determined that the public interest would be served by a brief extension of time in which to file comments, due to the extensive adverse weather conditions that affected the Washington, D.C., area and surrounding regions in recent weeks.
“The complex issues raised in this proceeding have far-reaching ramifications for the entire wireless microphone community, many of whom do not normally follow Commission activities,” says Mark Brunner, Senior Director, Global Brand Management at Shure Incorporated. “The extension gives wireless microphone users a greater opportunity to develop a complete and meaningful record for the Commission’s consideration.”
The original 30-day comment period was the minimum time required under the Communications Act of 1996. The comment period begins when an FCC action is published in the Federal Register, but may be extended under special circumstances. The FCC was forced to suspend operations due to adverse weather conditions, closing early on Friday, February 5, and remaining closed Monday, February 8, through Thursday, February 11, 2010.
Since 1977, the FCC has recognized two categories of professional wireless use: broadcast and motion picture and television program producers. Under consideration is an expansion of that eligibility to other professional uses, such as theater, houses of worship, system contracting and many others. This Public Comment period is designed to gather information on who should be eligible for a license and who shouldn’t. Later it will be determined how those licenses will be entered into a geo-location database and who will be in charge of monitoring licensed users.
Shure Microphones, along with other manufacturers, have spent millions of dollars lobbying Washington and urging support for license expansion in the wake of the 700MHz announcement. All professional wireless users are encouraged to submit, on company letterhead details on the types of use, the number of mics and wireless systems of all types, and the support for license expansion under Part 74. Comments may be submitted to fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/. Refer to Proceeding 10-24. Shure has offered to answer questions regarding the filing process through a special e-mail address at email@example.com.
“Right now, the FCC is aware of the hundreds of systems at a U2 concert or the tremendous needs of the Super Bowl,” says Shure’s Chris Lyons. “They are also aware of the thousands of single users out there. Who they really need to hear from are the thousands of operators who fall in the middle, the small theaters or houses of worship which may use dozens of systems.”
Wireless users are further encouraged to write their representatives in Congress in support of House Bill HR4353, introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush of Illinois and currently working its way through the legislative process. The National Football League has already signed on in support.
Read sister publication S&VC's FCC Frequently Asked Questions.
Visit Shure Incorporated at www.shure.com.