SBE Files FCC Comments on Wireless Mic and Lower-Power Auxiliary Service Devices Spectrum
February 4, 2015
The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the Association for Broadcast and Multimedia Technology Professionals, filed comments on February 4 with the Federal Communications Commission to GN Docket 14-166 and GN 12-268, noting the importance of preserving broadcasters' long-term usage of wireless microphones and low-power auxiliary service devices. In a series of actions, the FCC has increasingly restricted available UHF TV spectrum that has been used for the wireless purposes. In its filing, the SBE urges the FCC to explore and authorize replacement or additional spectrum for broadcasters and media producers.
The SBE highlighted the various FCC rulings, including elimination of the 700MHz band for wireless mics and over-the-air use, that have adversely affected the available spectrum. Further, the addition of TV white-space devices, most of which are unlicensed, has packed more users into an increasingly smaller available spectrum. And while the FCC has relaxed wireless mic usage restrictions for broadcasters, it is insufficient. In addition, the FCC has issued a series of rulings that have further affected available spectrum, including a spectrum auction in the 600MHz band.
The FCC has sought comments on a variety of possible replacement bands, but the SBE points out that these proposals all have significant shortcomings for broadcast use. Further, any action to authorize spectrum must be allocated with a long-term view. Equipment users cannot afford to constantly buy or update, when an update is possible, the necessary equipment to use the spectrum.
SBE President Joe Snelson, CPBE, 8-VSB, says, "The main point of the SBE filing is to suggest that at least 12MHz of spectrum, and ideally 24MHz of spectrum, should be allocated and protected for wireless mic and low-power auxiliary service devices in the UHF TV spectrum."
The SBE filing is available on the SBE website under the Legislative/Advocacy menu.