back to article FCC evicts wireless mics from future 4G band

The US Federal Communications Commission has ordered theaters, churches, schools, theme parks, and other wireless microphone users to vacate the 700 MHz band, that prime slice of American spectrum set to house the next generation of wireless broadband services. On Friday, the FCC issued an order (PDF) prohibiting the …


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  1. Martin 71

    We're kind of seeing the same here

    I can't remember where I saw it, it may have been in this very place, but the eeeediots at ofcom are planning something similar, with the result that many companies that hire out wireless microphones and audio kit are going to need lots of compensation. (I'm not calling them eeeediots because of the microphone issue, rather just because it's Ofcom)

    Someone needs to be doing a proper review of frequencies, who is using them, who NEEDS to be using them, and so forth. Susceptibility to interference should be part of this investigation.

  2. Mike Flugennock

    Huh...FCC Boots Wireless Mics, eh?

    Does this mean we'll never have to listen to Britney Spears or Madonna sing ever again?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      easy answer.

      You'll just see cell phones strapped to their faces.

    2. Mike48US


      We can only HOPE!

    3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      RE:Huh...FCC Boots Wireless Mics, eh?

      surely you mean MIME instead of Sing?

  3. Mike Flugennock

    So, what about "Legacy" technology?

    For instance, where will this leave all those "Mr. Microphone" users?

    "Hey, good-lookin', we'll be back to pick you later!"

  4. David Kelly 2

    Whats next?

    What will the FCC think of next? Perhaps a similar enforcement of GMRS licensing? GMRS radios require a license but one would never know based on the packaging and advertising.

  5. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Not as big a deal as you think

    This is not as big a deal as you are thinking -- this boots these mics off channels 52-69 (70-83 already went for cellular phone service). So any open channels from TV channel 14-51 are still fair game. We use 6mhz channels in the states so it seems like 1 channel would handle rather a lot of mics.

    Britain? Don't know how many channels you have there. But I bet plenty there too for mics to still operate.

  6. Tim Bates

    Standard FCC

    FCC is at it again. Ignore the users because someone waved a bigger cheque in front of them. Who cares if they did jump through the hoops a while back to do things legally... They paid less money than the new guys.

  7. John Robson Silver badge

    compensation for users

    Churches in particular tend to have 15+ year replacement cycles for this kind of kit - even the theatre I work with reckons that our wireless mics will last 10-15 years.

    OfCom are proposing compensation based on a 3-5 year depreciation cycle, which is probably appropriate for a hire company (where the mics are in continuous (not particularly careful) use, but is woefully inadequate for many amateur societies / churches etc.

    What's the state of play in the states? Who is compensating all those users who have bought kit in the last n years?

    PS - bullhorns on stage don't look good.

    1. Gerhard Mack

      exactly right

      Churches have a 10 to 15 year replacement cycle because wireless mics aren't cheap and they tend to put off buying new ones as long as possible.

    2. Fred Bauer 1

      The FCC doesn't pay anybody

      In the US, there is no compensation for users forced out of the 700 MHz band. The few licensed users (broadcasters and film companies) can afford the switch. The rest (theaters, churches, etc.) were unlicensed, and were taking their chances.

  8. The Beer Monster

    It's not just the big companies

    As a semi-pro musician, I (and the rest of my band) have a fair bit of radio equipment (mics, guitar radio packs and the like). We will have to throw perfectly good kit in the bin and as far as I can tell, we will get diddley-squat in terms of compensation.

    It's only the more up to date kit that can be "re-tuned". All our old stuff is fixed.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    So, I'll just e-bay mine?

    What happens to all the "illegal" radio mics then?

    1. Elmer Phud


      Well, first off -- the Eeeevangelical. Baptist etc. churches will say it's God's will that they have the mic. Secondly, a plethora of cheap radio mics made available might also be used near the aforementioned churches to spice things up a bt (run it through the deep, ambient reverb before transmitting to the church P.A. system -- auto-tune might also have a use here)

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