Spectrum Auction Could Impact Broadway, the NFL and Your Favorite News and Entertainment

November 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

Here at The Future of TV, we’ve been sharing our concerns that the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed plan to auction off broadcast spectrum doesn’t contain enough protection for the services TV viewers rely on. One issue is the failure to preserve spectrum for use by wireless microphones.

Wireless equipment helps local news stations cover breaking stories on scene. These stories – often lifesaving weather or emergency information – come to viewers quickly and seamlessly with current state-of-the-art equipment. These microphones are also used across many other industries, as discussed in this story from NPR. Before current wireless microphones were developed, older equipment:

…used the same band of frequencies as FM radio stations so interference was an issue. It would also drift off of its frequency and cause the PA system to blast the audience with noise. Today’s wireless mics are much more reliable, in part, because many of them use vacant UHF television channels with very little potential for interference. The Federal Communications Commission estimates that around 4 million wireless mics are in use nationwide at everything from kids’ birthday parties to pro sports events.

As NPR shows, issues with these little microphones could cause big problems in the news and entertainment that millions of Americans rely on and impose new costs on businesses across the country. Now, it’s up to the FCC to prevent that harm.

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