From Shure: A TV band whitespace device has been approved by the FCC and released to the market in January 2012.
FCC Second Memorandum and Opinion Order
IF you use wireless microphones, the FCC released the
Second Memorandum and Opinion Order
relating to the operation
of unlicensed devices in the TV broadcast band, and other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. You should attempt to read
the Memorandum (it's long) to understand how this affects you and your wireless ...life.
FCC Frees Up Vacant TV Airwaves for Super Wi-Fi
At the FCC site, look for:
FCC Frees Up Vacant TV Airwaves For "Super Wi-Fi" Technologies and Other Technologies.
The Future of Wireless Microphones
Microsoft develops technology that allows wireless broadband and wireless microphones to coexist. Our October 2011 meeting
was devoted to learning about this development. See the video from the meeting by
clicking this link.
Ranveer Chandra, one of the presenters at our October Meeting published this paper,
White Space Networking with Wi-Fi like Connectivity
in August 2009.
FCC Sends "Get Out Of The Pool" Notice - January 2010
The FCC has finally sent out their notice to all users of wireless microphones and/or other devices that operate in the 700MHz Band to
stop operating this equipment by June 12, 2010.
Statement from FCC Chairman Genachowski
Are Your Wireless Mikes Legal?
While the FCC hasn't sent out the "Get Out of the Pool Now" (GOOTP) letter yet, things are beginning to happen.
sending a generic GOOTP letter to some people; never by name, just a "dear sir" sort of letter. The link, above, is to a good article by Kevin Cobus
that appeared in
Tecnologies for Worship
magazine. The error in the channel width for TV stations is noted. It should be 6mHz, NOT 6gHz.
You can find the latest info from Shure
This is a comprehensive document;
June 15, 2009
The Big Switch came and went. Here (Seattle), it seemed a non-event. KING TV5 got to be the nightlight station, with a continuous
message running telling what to do if this is all the TV that you receive. The cable companies, since their signal is
captive, didn't have to do much (apparently), and they can still broadcast using VST (vestigial sideband transmission, the $100 term for
analog TV) since their signals are captive. There was a lot of confusion surrounding this, and Comcast seemed to be doing their best to
compound and confound. Your webmaster got three of their "decoder" boxes, but with 2 TVs that aren't connected to the decoders, there seems to
be minimal difference. Of course, who knows what Comcast has in mind for the future?
The 700mHz band is now off limits to wireless microphones, but it remains to be seen what people actually do about this. Consider the situation
on the Citizen's Band (27mHz).
The last tally for the dollar amount raised in the whitespaces auction is just under 20 BILLION dollars.
Shure and Sennheiser are both offering some level of trade-in towards the purchase of new wireless gear. While
it's better than a boot in the butt, it's a small comfort.
Microsoft has still not proven to the Commission's satisfaction that their proposed hardware can co-exist with wireless
microphones without interference.
News (somewhat dated)
January 3, 2009
The FCC has released coverage maps for DTV stations with lines representing coverage before and after the DTV transition. Note that the coverage area simply means that this was the limit for some level of reception (Grade B contour). It must not be interpreted that there is no signal strength outside this line; i.e. trying to operate a wireless microphone on that channel outside of the coverage area is specifically not recommended.
These maps would seem to be the definitive resource in determining which TV channels are not utilized in your local area. Be sure to read the
report that accompanies these maps.
Here are the coverage maps for
May 16, 2008.
The Grand Ole Opry, CMA, CMT, MTV and other Nashville-based music interests joined forces this
week in an effort to stave off the efforts of manufacturers who are anxious to produce new television white space
device, by filing a five-page letter of concern with the Federal Communications Commission.
May 13, 2008.
Motorola resubmits its whitespace device for further testing.
May 6, 2008.
Shure has filed a letter with the FCC specifically asking for more testing of non-wireless microphone devices, such as those proposed by Google and Motorola. These devices
have failed in previous testing, and Shure is asking the FCC to require further testing, emphasizing that the Motorola proposal is still a "proof of concept."
April 17, 2007.
two papers attempting to explain the new uses for the white spaces created after the DTV switch in 2009. Note, however, that there is absolutely NO mention of wireless microphones. It's as if they don't exist. Scary. Really Scarry.
Pacific Northwest-specific Information
Chart showing current and future whitespace for Seattle-Tacoma
Chart showing current and future whitespace for Portland
Page showing all Seattle area frequency assignments
Page showing all Portland area frequency assignments
Seattle-Tacoma coverage maps
Portland coverage maps
Shure's whitespace site
Frequency Compatibility chart for Shure products
Shure's Frequency Finder
Shure's Wireless Workbench software (free). Does useful frequency coordinating function.
Shure Guide to Wireless operation.
Good section on frequency selection. Has table of TV channel frequencies.
Federal Communications Commission
Excel Spreadsheet showing final USA channel assignments
FCC Spectrum Task Force homepage
FCC Office of Engineering and Technology homepage
Unlicensed and Unshackled Whitepaper on Unlicensed Devices
FCC Spectrum Auction Band Plans
Spectrum Allocation Chart DC to Light
Search for info about TV stations in an area
FCC Rules, Part 74 (authority under which existing wireless microphones operate)
FCC Rules, Part 15.219 (license-free operation in the AM broadcast band)
Part 15.239 Operation in the FM broadcast band
CFR-47 FCC Rules
700MHz Band Plan (pdf)
Excel Spreadsheet showing final channel assignments
Auction 73 / 700mHz band
January 24, 2008
The FCC began the auction of the spectrum above 700mHz on 1/24/08. There are 1099 spectrum licenses and 214 registered applicants.
The bidding lasts a month and the gummint expects to make 10 Billion ($10e9!) dollars from this.
You can follow the action on the FCC's website:
Auction 73 (700mHz band)
Auction 73 Summary
As of June 15, 2009, the gummint made just under 20 Billion dollars from the sale of the 700mHz band.
If you're concerned about what may happen to your ability to use wireless microphones, in-ear monitoring, and other
wireless devices after the DTV switch is thrown, do make yourself heard by your elected representatives.
It is important to let both sides know your position (those in favor of opening up whitespace to other uses and
those working to protect wireless microphone usage in whitespaces).
The FCC, when in the process of rulemaking, leaves a block of time open for public comment. If you have issues with their proposed
rules, you (yes you) should make your issues known to them. There is a particular protocol for contacting them, and the website
link further down this page will help you be successful in doing this.
The following representatives have legislation pending now, and need to hear your viewpoint:
Representative Jay Inslee, 1st Congressional District
||Wants FCC to allow new wireless devices to coexist with wireless microphones. Pushed for October 2007
adoption date (which won't happen now).
Email Jay Inslee
Senator John Sununu
Pushing FCC for early adoption time for new wireless devices. S337
Email John Sununu
Senator John Kerry
Pushing FCC for early adoption time for new wireless devices. S234
Contact Senator Kerry
Representative Ric Keller
Supports wireless microphones and related uses.
Contact Rep. Keller
Senator Bobby Rush
Supports wireless microphones and related uses. See H.R. 1320
Contact Senator Rush
Grammy.org's very helpful page for contacting elected representatives
How to file comment with the FCC
Shure Press Release for HR 1320
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