May 14, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may soon rule on several proceedings that will impact the use of wireless microphones. The FCC is proposing that entities using fewer than 50 microphones would not be able to register in a geo-location database which provides interference protection. This will affect many small- to mid-sized arts organizations, venues, and productions.

The FCC is also considering a longer-term home for wireless microphones in a different area of the broadcast spectrum. Moving within the spectrum would mean orchestras and other arts organizations would have to purchase expensive new equipment. They already did this in 2010–spending $25K-$100K–when the FCC mandated wireless microphones vacate the 700 mHz band of spectrum.

Nonprofit orchestras and other performing arts organizations rely on equipment that operates in the “white space” frequencies between broadcast channels of the television band. Interference to these frequencies can compromise the quality of onstage performances and backstage operations which could affect the safety of performers, technicians, and audiences.

Please ask your Representative to protect wireless technology used in the performing arts! Representatives Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ), co-chairs of the Congressional Arts Caucus, are circulating a sign-on letter (PDF) in the House of Representatives urging the FCC to protect wireless microphones. The letter will be sent to the FCC later this month. Your representative needs to sign on to this letter by close of business on Thursday, May 21.

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