Original article written April 12, 2010 – republished in 2013
The infamous June 12, 2010 deadline is quickly approaching.
By now, you have most likely heard about the “white spaces” debate. Effective June 12th of 2010, any wireless microphone (or other non-approved wireless device) operating between the frequencies of 698 and 806MHz will be illegal to operate.
Tip!This mandate from the FCC affects both licensed and non-licensed users. So, even if you took the time and effort to officially license your wireless microphones – your license has been revoked.
While this is a big pain for many Houses of Worship, it’s important that you comply with the law. First, as believers we have a ethical demand to do so. Second, if these devices are used they can very easily interfere with public safety and other wireless devices.
Some manufactures are offering limited time rebates or trade in offers. If your wireless devices operate in the 698-806MHz range you should contact your manufacture to see what your options are. Likewise, some wireless companies are offering rebates for exchanging competitor microphones as well – so, in some cases; you could use this as an opportunity to change brands if you have the need. But you must act fast. Most of these offers expire soon.
Tip!Likewise – buyer beware. Undoubtedly some unscrupulous people will attempt to sell their old microphones on eBay, CraigsList and other such outlets. If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Never buy anything unless you know all the details. Make sure to ask (and verify) the equipments operating frequency.
Remember – this affects more than just microphones
Also – just because all the hype has been on wireless microphones don’t forget to check your wireless intercoms, in-ear monitors, wireless cueing interfaces and other wireless devices that you are using each week.
Unfortunately, this is going to be expensive for some of us. However, that’s the nature of technology. Take a computer for instance – usually a $400 – $1600 purchase. Typical lifespan – 2 years. Cell phones – 2 to 3 years. As we face improvements we face costs of upgrade.
Fortunately, we’ve enjoyed long lives with our wireless microphones. Hopefully, this will be a bump in the road to that enjoyment.
It’s not just about cost – it’s about safety
I know the temptation for some will be to continue to try to “get by” with these illegal frequency devices. But realize the risk. It’s not just a matter of maybe getting interference on occasion. It’s the possibility of blocking a critical EMS or police call. It’s interfering with life safety and most of all – it’s breaking the law.
So if you have devices in the 698-806Mhz range it’s time to retire them. If worst comes to worst, the old stand-by – corded devices – are still widely available, inexpensive and unaffected by the FCC mandate. It might be that you have to go back to a tethered world while saving up for the next wireless purchase.