FCC Expands Wireless Mic Access


FCCOne of the many critical spectrum-based services impacted by the incentive auction is the use of wireless microphones. The FCC adopted new rules to help assure they have necessary spectrum going forward.

The mics are used by broadcasters for newsgathering and emergency reporting; by theaters and sport arenas, and for other purposes.

Four commissioners voted in favor, with Michael O’Rielly dissenting in part.

The FCC adopted the following:

* Provide more opportunities for licensed use in the remaining TV bands by allowing greater use of the VHF channels and permitting co-channel operations inside DTV contours without coordination if TV signals fall below specified threshold;

* Expand eligibility for licensed use of the 4-megahertz portion of the 600 MHz duplex gap to include all licensed users in the TV bands (broadcasters, cable programming networks, movie studios, and operators at major sporting/concerts/theater venues); and

* Provide new opportunities for these licensed wireless microphones to operate on a secondary basis in three additional spectrum bands, consistent with the Commission’s spectrum management goals – (1) access to significantly more spectrum in the 900 MHz band; (2) access to a portion of the 1435-1525 MHz band at specified times and places, subject to coordination requirements that protect critical aeronautical mobile telemetry; and (3) access to portions of the 6875-7125 MHz band.