What You Need To Know About New FCC Wireless Mic Regulations
“What do you mean my wireless mic might be illegal? I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Well, it may have never ever crossed your mind, but by using your wireless microphone just as you always have, you may actually be committing a crime – or at least be at risk for some hefty fines. Back in 2017, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) auctioned off airspace in the 600MHz band to cellular internet providers (like T-Mobile) – this space was previously available for using wireless mics. This drastically limiting the amount of spectrum available to wireless microphone users. Originally, the FCC stated we had until 2020 to replace the devices and stop usage of equipment in violation – so why all the fuss? Because buried in the fine print they say unless the auction winners start to use the space, in which case the space needed to be vacated immediately. That was indeed what happened and that space immediately became unavailable for our usage.
“Ok, so what does this really mean?”
What this means is that users of some wireless microphones and wireless devices similar to wireless mics, including in-ear monitors, audio instrument links and cueing equipment operating in the 600 MHz band (like churches, schools, and amateur theaters) are now doing so illegally. In some cases, the mics and devices have also just stopped working or users experience constant interference. Violations are absolutely being enforced; violation of these new regulations is a serious offence with equally serious fines. If you’re caught using the space illegally, you’ll be fined $10,000 PER wireless mic – if you have three mics, you could pay up to $30,00 – and criminally sanctioned.
“What can I do now? How can I be sure?”
Gelnett and Associates
If you happen to need replacements, Gelnett and Associates will assist you every step of the way with expert product recommendations and purchasing, installations, training on how to use your equipment, and complete customer service.