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FCC Seeks Comments on Licensing Some Wireless Microphones

Commission seeks to ‘update and refresh’ wireless microphone notice of proposed rulemaking

The U.S. government is seeking comments on whether some wireless microphones and other low power transmission devices that currently operate in the television broadcast spectrum on an unlicensed basis should operate on a licensed basis.
On Oct. 22, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission posted a Federal Register notice—Wireless Microphones Proceeding—asking for comments on “whether the Commission should provide for a limited expansion of license eligibility that would permit some wireless microphone and other low power auxiliary station users, which currently operate in the TV broadcast spectrum on an unlicensed basis, to operate on a licensed basis under the part 74 rules applicable to low power auxiliary stations (LPAS).”
Those rules are in the FCC’s Wireless Microphones notice of proposed rulemaking adopted in January 2010.
In addition to the licensing of some wireless microphones, the FCC is asking “what steps” should the Commission “take to promote more efficient use of this spectrum by wireless microphones,” the notice says.
The FCC asks those filing comments take into consideration recent industry developments, including advances in wireless microphone technologies, as well as related Commission proceedings that affect use of wireless microphones, including the TV “white spaces proceeding” and the planned incentive auctions of spectrum currently allocated to television broadcasting, the latest notice says.
In the Wireless Microphones Further Notice adopted in January 2010, the FCC sought comment on the use of wireless microphones and other low power auxiliary stations on an unlicensed basis in the current TV bands (channels 2 through 51, excluding channel 37). Noting that the FCC currently permits such operations pursuant to the waiver granted in the wireless microphones order, the Commission specifically proposed that wireless microphones that operate on an unlicensed basis pursuant to that waiver be permitted to operate in the TV bands pursuant to the wireless microphone regulations, and to specified technical rules, the notice says.
In addition, the FCC seeks comments on whether it should revise the LPAS rules to provide for a limited expansion of the categories of entities that would be eligible for licensed use of wireless microphones and other related LPAS issue, the notice says. The FCC also seeks comments on possible long-term reform, based in part on technological innovations that would enable wireless microphones to operate more efficiently and with improved immunity to harmful interference, thereby increasing the spectrum available for wireless microphones and other uses, according to the notice.

The deadline for comments is Nov. 21, 2012, and the deadline for reply comments is Dec. 12, 2012.

Click here to access the notice.