700 MHz: The End is Here

In case you’ve spent the last few years hiding in a faraday cage, you are probably aware that the FCC has sold off the 700 MHz spectrum (from 698 MHz-806MHz), analog TV has come to an end and wireless mics are no longer allowed in the 700 MHz band as of June 12. As in June 12, 2010.

As I said, you probably know that, but if you don’t here’s what it means. If you have any wireless mics in your facility that are tuned anywhere between 698-806 MHz, you need to shut them down as of Saturday. The FCC has said that they will be looking for violators and will fine you pretty heavily if you are caught. They will be doing this because some big companies paid big bucks for chunks of that spectrum and they expect to have it all to themselves. Also, some of that air space is going to public safety equipment and they don’t want any interference.

In all fairness, it’s unlikely that a wireless mic inside a church broadcasting at 50 mW will cause interference to a public safety base station (100+ W), a mobile radio (50-100W) or even a portable (5-10W). Still, you don’t want to chance it. Is your leadership not yet convinced they need to power those old mics down? Read them this

“Operation of wireless microphones in violation of these rules may subject the user to substantial monetary forfeitures, in rem arrest action against the offending radio equipment and criminal sanctions, including imprisonment. Because any operation in violation of these rules creates a danger of interference to important radio communications services and may subject the operator to severe penalties, this advisory emphasizes the importance of complying strictly with these legal requirements.”

That’s from the FCC website, and I’d say they’re serious about this stuff. Also, Sennheiser and Shure continue to offer rebates on trading in your gear through June 30. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.