By PSW Staff • November 5, 2008 The Federal Communications Commission voted Tuesday (November 4) to allow technology companies like Google, Microsoft, Dell, and Motorola to produce “white spaces” devices that will use the same radio frequency (RF) spectrum now being used by wireless microphone systems. Final text of the rules is not yet available, but the order is purported to greatly reduce the amount of clear spectrum available for use by professional audio and communications equipment. The Commission adopted certain important elements of Shure’s recent wireless microphone interference protection plan. However, Shure is concerned that, despite technical evidence to the contrary, the Commission’s action opens the door to a new breed of wireless gadgetry that relies on unproven technology as a safeguard against interference to wireless microphones. Shure is also concerned that the Commission did not reserve an appropriate number of channels for flawless operation of wireless microphone equipment and did not address several important issues necessary to ensure a robust geolocation-based database for protection of large scale events, as the company had proposed. “While not unexpected, today’s FCC decision will greatly complicate the lives of wireless microphone users across the United States and negatively affect tens of millions of Americans listening to live and broadcast events,” said Mark Brunner, Shure’s Senior Director, Global Public and Industry Relations. “In over four years of activity, including numerous written comments, technical submissions to and meetings with the FCC, Shure has highlighted that wireless microphones, monitor systems, and intercoms are essential production tools in modern music, theater, broadcast, sports, corporate, hotel, convention, education, and house of worship environments. Often supported by their representatives in Congress, these communities have voiced their concerns throughout this proceeding. It is worth noting that in just the past week, over 50 members of Congress including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D, NY) and voices as significant and diverse as Pastor Rick Warren, Dolly Parton, Guns N Roses, the Grand Ole Opry, the Shubert Theater Organization, Harrah’s Entertainment, the American Federation of Musicians, the Country Music Association, The Recording Academy, the NFL, NASCAR, the NBA and other major sports leagues – among many others—called on the FCC to protect their ability to communicate with their numerous and diverse audiences through wireless microphones. Unfortunately, even a chorus this strong could not alter the vote. “While we have several options regarding our next steps, Shure’s first obligation is to its customers,” said Sandy LaMantia, Shure President and CEO. “In anticipation of this ruling, Shure has been working diligently on technologies and technical support programs that will enable wireless microphone operators to be successful in a more complicated interference environment. Shure has been the leader on the “white spaces” issue and we will continue to lead in the wireless microphone area going forward.” For more information: ProSoundWeb Wireless Report Shure Website Comments Have something to say about this PSW content? Leave a comment! Cancel reply Scroll past the ”Post Comment” button below to view any existing comments. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Tagged with: Education Equipment FCC Frequencies Interference Microphones Monitors Professional ProSoundWeb Recording RF Shure Systems Wireless Systems · all topics Subscribe to Live Sound International Subscribe to Live Sound International magazine. Stay up-to-date, get the latest pro audio news, products and resources each month with Live Sound. Subscribe Today!