Wireless Mic Users Make Voices Heard With FCC

It’s been a busy few weeks with respect to wireless spectrum as a broad array of wireless microphone users have inundated the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with comments, urging them to expand eligibility for wireless microphone licenses.

Submissions came from music producers Phil Ramone and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, American Idol Music Director Rickey Minor, Live Nation Entertainment, MGM Mirage Resorts, and five major sports leagues.  The FCC received more than 300 letters, from houses of worship, theaters, education institutions, musicians, producers, sound engineers, AV rental and production companies, hotels, and convention centers during the comment period, which ended on March 1, 2010.

“Wireless microphone users are sending a strong and clear message that they and their audiences expect and deserve interference-free audio,” said Sandy LaMantia, President and CEO of Shure Incorporated.  “Wireless microphones are an essential feature of professional sound production in many contexts where audio quality is a priority. These users need to be eligible for licenses that will afford them protection from interference from new devices using the same spectrum.”

The FCC has long been aware that wireless microphone use extends beyond the broadcasters and production companies included in the current licensing rules.  The Commission issued a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in January, asking for input regarding whether its current wireless microphone licensing rules should be expanded to include more of the organizations and facilities that use these devices.

“The sheer number of responses received by the FCC in this proceeding was impressive, particularly for the relatively short time frame of the comment period,” said Mark Brunner, Shure’s Senior Director of Global Brand Management.  “To see Megadeth and mega-churches finding common ground was quite remarkable.  The breadth of sectors of American society uniting in voicing the need to protect their audio quality is unprecedented.”

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