Old Production Takes From an Old Guy

Finally—A 700 MHz Decision; The End Is Near

Late last week, the FCC finally issued an order regarding the migration out of the 700 MHZ spectrum. All ad hoc use (wireless mics, DMX, data, etc.) must cease no later than June 12, 2010. From Shure.com

The order applies to all wireless system users regardless of whether the user holds an FCC license. The order also requires microphone users to cease operations in specified 700 MHz frequencies within 60 days upon receipt of a notice from a wireless carrier or public safety entity authorized to use the spectrum, or, alternatively, within 60 days of the release of an FCC Public Notice specifying that certain 700 MHz frequencies are no longer available for wireless system use in a particular market.

No word yet on what fines may be levied if you’re caught operating equipment in that band. However, if a telemarketer calls you after you tell them to remove you from their list, it’s a $10,000 fine. Per call. The FCC doesn’t normally mess around with that stuff.

So what does that mean for churches with 700 MHz wireless mics? You have to replace them. It’s no longer a grey area. For pastors and executive pastors who have been telling their tech guys not to worry about it, it’s time to take action. The last thing we need as the Church is to start reading about local churches getting fined because they didn’t want to replace their illegal equipment.

It’s not all bad news, however. Shure has extended the rebate period through June 30, 2010. Folks, the time to act is now. Don’t be the first church in your area to receive a cease and desist order. It’s never going to be less expensive to replace the equipment.

No word yet on whether Sennheiser will be running an extended rebate program for the final push to vacate 700 MHz. I have a call into my contact there to find out; I’ll update this as soon as I know something for sure.

UPDATE: 1/19/10, 2:15 PST. Sennheiser extends their rebate program to run through June 30, 2010. More details can be found on their website, sennheiserusa.com or on this rebate form. Thanks to Chris Phillips for the last minute intel.

5 Comments

  1. sam@samandelise.com

    We did our best to get out of the 700 MHz group last summer and mostly succeeded. We found we were able to get using more wired mics in some instances and, but we still have one handheld in use that I hope to replace in a couple of weeks. Getting a headstart makes it a lot easier to be totally out by this summer AND much easier to get a budget big enough to actually buy new mics. At a few worship planning meetings I’ve had to say, “actually, we don’t have the equipment to do that, but I’m hoping to replace the old mics next budget cycle.” That message was finally heard and I’ve got the money to replace about half this year and then half next year.

  2. sam@samandelise.com

    We did our best to get out of the 700 MHz group last summer and mostly succeeded. We found we were able to get using more wired mics in some instances and, but we still have one handheld in use that I hope to replace in a couple of weeks. Getting a headstart makes it a lot easier to be totally out by this summer AND much easier to get a budget big enough to actually buy new mics. At a few worship planning meetings I’ve had to say, “actually, we don’t have the equipment to do that, but I’m hoping to replace the old mics next budget cycle.” That message was finally heard and I’ve got the money to replace about half this year and then half next year.

  3. Tweets that mention Finally—A

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mike Sessler, Mike Sessler. Mike Sessler said: It's official; The time leave the 700 MHz spectrum is nigh. Learn more: http://www.churchtecharts.org/archives/1532 […]

  4. mattphelps@matthew-phelps.com

    Before I left my old church I moved them out of the 700MHz range with some new Sennheiser G2 systems, but my new church has 3 Nady ‘cheapo’ handhelds that run at the high end of the range. The hard part won’t getting the new mics, it will be convincing them that they can’t continue to operate in those frequencies, and not to get Nadys. Instead of spending $2000+ on new wireless systems, I’d just get a some more wired mics. It’s not like they don’t have enough inputs.

  5. mattphelps@matthew-phelps.com

    Before I left my old church I moved them out of the 700MHz range with some new Sennheiser G2 systems, but my new church has 3 Nady ‘cheapo’ handhelds that run at the high end of the range. The hard part won’t getting the new mics, it will be convincing them that they can’t continue to operate in those frequencies, and not to get Nadys. Instead of spending $2000+ on new wireless systems, I’d just get a some more wired mics. It’s not like they don’t have enough inputs.

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