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FCC Reaches White
Spaces Decision

On Nov. 4, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to let technology companies produce white spaces devices that will use the same radio frequency spectrum now being used by wireless microphone systems.

Mic maker Shure reported that the FCC adopted certain important elements of its microphone interference protection plan. Still, in a statement issued by the company, Shure expressed concern that the FCC’s action “opens the door to a new breed of wireless gadgetry that relies on unproven technology as a safeguard against interference to wireless microphones.” The statement also expressed concern that the FCC did not reserve an appropriate number of channels for flawless operation of wireless microphone equipment.

“While not unexpected, today’s FCC decision will greatly complicate the lives of wireless microphone users across the United States and negatively affect tens of millions of Americans listening to live and broadcast events,” said Mark Brunner, Shure’s senior director of global public and industry relations.

But in a public statement, the FCC reported that wireless microphones will be “protected in a variety of ways.” It read: “The locations where wireless microphones are used, such as sporting venues and event and production facilities, can be registered in the database and will be protected in the same way as other services. The [FCC] also has required that devices include the ability to listen to the airwaves to sense wireless microphones as an additional measure of protection for these devices.”;