Operation of Some Wireless Microphones Prohibited after June 12, 2010

Operation of Some Wireless Microphones Prohibited after June 12, 2010

Editor: If you have a wireless microphone that operates in the 700 MHz band, you must stop using it on June 12. Here’s the notice from the FCC, which includes a link to a site that specifies all offending wireless microphones.


May 2010

Under a new FCC rule, anyone who uses a wireless microphone. or similar device, that operates in the 700 MHz Band will have to stop operating their wireless microphone, or similar device, no later than June 12, 2010. To see if this law affects your wireless microphone, check our Manufacturers Equipment list at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones/manufacturers.html.

All users of 700 MHz Band wireless microphones and similar devices – including theaters, churches, schools, conference centers, theme parks, sports leagues, and musicians – will need to retune or replace, if necessary, their equipment no later than June 12, 2010. Wireless microphones that operate outside of the 700 MHz Band are not affected.

Certain wireless microphones have operated in frequencies that are needed for public safety. When these microphones were first designed, the frequencies they used were in between the frequencies that television stations used to broadcast television programs. With the completion of the digital television (DTV) transition on June 12, 2009, television stations no longer use the frequencies between 698 and 806 MHz (the 700 MHz Band) for broadcast. These frequencies are now being used by public safety entities, such as police, fire and emergency services, and by commercial providers of wireless services, such as wireless broadband services.

The wireless microphones that had been operating in the old TV broadcast channels can cause harmful interference to these public safety and wireless consumer services. Therefore, all users of wireless microphones — or certain low power auxiliary stations — that operate on any of the frequencies in the 700 MHz band – including both licensed users and unlicensed users – now have to stop operating in this band. Because of the danger of interference with important radio communications services, continued use of wireless microphones in the 700 MHz band after June 12, 2010 may subject operators to severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment.

The FCC is only prohibiting the use of wireless microphones and similar devices that operate in the 700 MHz Band. You may continue to use wireless microphones and similar devices that operate on other broadcast frequencies. Microphones and other similar devices with cords are not affected by the FCC’s decision.

Similar devices to wireless microphones are also known as equipment for “low power auxiliary stations”. Typically these devices can transmit over distances of 100 meters. Examples of similar devices include wireless intercoms, wireless in-ear monitors (IEM”), wireless audio instrument links, and wireless cueing equipment. (also known as IFB).

For more information check out our Wireless Microphone Publications at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones/Pubs.html and Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones/FAQs.html.