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Breaking News: FCC Reserves Two TV Channels Nationwide For Wireless Microphone Use

“The reserved channels will provide a safe harbor in which musicians, small theaters, houses of worship, and businesses can operate their wireless microphone systems without interference from new TV Band Devices.” - Sandy LaMantia, Shure

A Memorandum Opinion and Order issued today by the FCC reserves two TV channels nationwide for wireless microphone use. The reserved channels are off-limits to UHF Band Devices that operate in the white spaces between assigned TV stations, thus preventing them from interfering with wireless microphone signals on those channels.

Large-scale users would be able to achieve extended protection for specific events through the geo-location database prescribed by the FCC in 2008.

Shure Incorporated and a number of Congressional legislators applauded a decision by the Federal Communications Commission to protect wireless microphone users from interference from “white space devices.” 

“It’s clear that the FCC carefully considered the needs of wireless microphone users while crafting this prder,” said Sandy LaMantia, president and CEO of Shure Incorporated. “The reserved channels will provide a safe harbor in which musicians, small theaters, houses of worship, and businesses can operate their wireless microphone systems without interference from new TV Band Devices.”

Legislators have been actively following the FCC’s plan to allow unlicensed devices to share the “white spaces” and the potential impact on wireless microphone users.  Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL) submitted a bill that would require wireless microphone users to be protected. 

“The legislation I introduced called for interference protection for professional wireless microphones in the wide variety of venues in which they are used today,” said Rush. “This prder effectively grants that protection and will ensure continuity of service for houses of worship, theater, music tours and venues, sporting events, and the various civic and corporate environments that rely on quality audio in America today.”

Other legislators noted the contributions that wireless microphone users make to the nation’s economy. “Music is a lifeline to Nashville’s economy, and the live music industry depends more than ever on wireless microphones to connect our artists to the audience,” said Congressman Jim Cooper (TN-05). “The FCC’s order helps guarantee that the flawless sound music fans expect will continue without interference from new consumer wireless devices.”

“Las Vegas has always been—and still remains—the Entertainment Capital of the World and live performances are always big draw for tourists.  Those who visit southern Nevada are drawn not only by the excitement of Las Vegas, but also by the wide array of musical talent and thrilling theatrical performances available. The FCC prder will enable headliners and performers up and down the Las Vegas Strip to keep delivering their innovative material live for the enjoyment of our tens of millions of guests,” said Representative Shelley Berkley (D-NV).

Lawmakers also praised the thorough and detailed research that preceded the FCC’s ruling.  “After many years of comprehensive discussions and scientific analysis, the FCC’s final White Spaces Rules recognize that on Broadway ‘the show must go on’ and that a modern theater performance requires the use of dozens of interference-free wireless microphone systems every single night,” said Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY).

“The Commission received input over many years from a broad range of wireless microphone users during this proceeding,” said Mark Brunner, senior director of Global Brand Management at Shure. “Their activities – spanning live music, theater, worship, broadcasting, and many others – represent an important contribution to our society and to our economy. The order demonstrates the FCC’s commitment to supporting America’s position as a leader in the creation of news, sports, cultural, and entertainment content at venues of all sizes.”

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