URGENT: Does Your Orchestra Use Wireless Mics or Other Wireless Devices?
December 16, 2014
URGENT: Does Your Orchestra Use Wireless Mics or Other Wireless Devices? Weigh in now, before costs go up yet again...
Over the last several years, the League has been sending periodic updates regarding wireless microphone technology and key FCC decisions and rulings that impact orchestras and other users of wireless devices. You may recall that in 2010, wireless microphone users had to vacate a portion of White Space spectrum, resulting in many organizations having to purchase expensive new equipment. The latest news in this continually evolving landscape is that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing to exclude smaller and mid-sized performing arts entities from interference protection – leaving such users vulnerable to interference or in the position to purchase new equipment yet again. Orchestras and other performing arts organizations need to speak up and tell the FCC how we would be harmfully impacted.
Background at a glance:
Over the summer, the FCC had opened the door for performing arts entities that regularly use 50 or more wireless microphones to apply for a Part 74 license, which would entitle the licensed entity access to a database that would provide interference protection. All other users would have to apply for access and be subject to a 30 day waiting period. However, the FCC is now proposing that entities that are not eligible to apply for a license would also not be able to participate in the database at all. In other words, there would be absolutely no interference mechanism in place for organizations using fewer than 50 microphones from White Space Devices (ie TV Band Devices). Please remember that wireless microphone operators should be coordinating frequencies so as not to interfere with each other – the interference protection we seek is from new TV Band Devices.
What you can do:
Access to the database has now become an issue for smaller and mid-sized performing arts organizations, as well as for larger entities that do not regularly use 50 or more wireless devices. Together with our partners in theater, opera, dance, and more, we hope to gather hundreds of letters together, and these will be entered on your behalf into the FCC’s electronic filing system.