The Week Online Archive
FCC Looking To Ban Some Wireless MicsAugust 26, 2008: The FCC has released a notice of proposed rulemaking that would ban wireless microphones that operate in the 700 MHz spectrum next year, after the transition to digital TV is completed.
The commission also wants to ban the manufacture, import, sale or shipment of 700 MHz "low-power auxiliary stations," a category that covers the mics. The idea is to "ensure that low-power auxiliary operations do not cause harmful interference to new public safety and commercial wireless services in the band."
Of more than 900 licenses available, 156 are authorized to operate in the 700 MHz band, and most of those can operate in other spectrum bands as well, says the FCC. License applications for new devices in the band have been frozen and any already-pending applications will be frozen until after the DTV switchover.
The FCC notice follows a complaint by the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition, which said makers of the devices use deceptive advertising, and most users are unaware of or ignoring FCC rules that require licenses for the mics.