FCC Orders Wireless Mic Frequency Change

WASHINGTON, DC (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Federal Communications Commission has finalized an order to vacate the 700mhz band in a move that will affect numerous venues and touring artists who's wireless mics and other production equipment operates in that frequency.

Starting on June 12, 2010, all wireless devices that operate at frequencies between 698 and 806 MHz, will need to be retuned to new frequencies outside of this range, or to be replaced.

The frequency band, which had formerly been the domain of television broadcasters until the digital television changeover last June had, in recent years, become populated by a wide variety of wireless gear, ranging from microphones and in-ear monitors to wirelessly controlled stage lighting. The FCC however, auctioned off the band for $20 billion so that it can be used for broadband services such as 4g cellular data networks.

"Our decision will accelerate the buildout of 4G wireless networks, and will prevent interference with first responders who rely on the 700-megahertz band for mission-critical communications," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in a statement.

The frequency change will affect a broad spectrum of users from venue owners, touring and production companies, to churches.

"We will have to explore our options concerning our cordless mikes," Donald Immel, senior pastor at The New Stanton Assembly of God Church in Westmoreland County told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "We have gotten an estimate of about $2,400 to replace all four mikes," Immel added.

In order to ease the transition, the FCC has established a website that lists wireless microphones from major producers and specifies if they will need to be retuned, or replaced. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers