As you know, or should know, on February 19, 2009 the United States will move to Digital Television (DTV) and there will be a shake up of the UHF radio spectrum. What you probably do not know is that as of two weeks ago, the wireless microphone you are using today will probably be illegal to use after 2/19/09. I am going to cut and paste some of this information from the FCC into this post and then give you the links so you can go read in on-line yourself. Bottom line is that there is a proposal, FCC-08-188, adopted 8/15/08 that states in part…. ”we tentatively conclude to amend our rules to make clear that the operation of low power auxiliary stations within the 700 MHz Band will no longer be permitted after the end of the DTV transition because such operations could cause harmful interference to new public safety and commercial wireless services in the band. We also tentatively conclude to prohibit the manufacture, import, sale, offer for sale, or shipment of devices that operate as low power auxiliary stations in the 700 MHz Band. In addition, for those licensees that have obtained authorizations to operate low power auxiliary stations in spectrum that includes the 700 MHz Band beyond the end of the DTV transition, we tentatively conclude that we will modify these licenses so as not to permit such operations in the 700 MHz Band after February 17, 2009. We also seek comment on issues raised by the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) in its informal complaint and petition for rulemaking (“PISC Petition” or “Petition”)…” The Press Release from the FCC dated 8/21/08 states in full: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: August 21, 2008 Rob Kenny: (202) 418-2668 Matt Nodine: (202) 418-1646 FCC PROPOSES THE PROHIBITION OF LOW POWER AUXILIARY STATIONS IN THE 700 MHz BAND AFTER THE DIGITAL TELEVISION TRANSITION Proposal Would Protect New Public Safety and Commercial Licensees from Interference Washington, D.C. – In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) and Order released today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed prohibiting low power auxiliary stations, including wireless microphones, to operate in the 700 MHz Band after the end of the digital television (DTV) transition on February 17, 2009. The Notice also proposes that the FCC prohibit the manufacture, import, sale, or shipment of devices that operate as low power auxiliary stations in the 700 MHz Band after the end of the DTV transition. These actions would ensure that low power auxiliary operations do not cause harmful interference to new public safety and commercial wireless services in the band. Low power auxiliary stations are authorized for such uses as wireless microphones, cue and control communications, and synchronization of TV camera signals. Of the 943 active low power auxiliary station licenses, 156 are currently authorized to operate in the 700 MHz Band. Of those 156 licenses, most are authorized to operate in other spectrum bands as well, and only 30 are authorized to operate only in the 614-806 MHz band, of which the 700 MHz Band is a part. After the end of the DTV transition, low power auxiliary stations would be able to continue operating in additional spectrum bands that allow such operations on a secondary basis, including certain broadcast television channels below 700 MHz. Today’s Order also imposed a freeze, effective upon release of the Order, on the filing of new applications for low power auxiliary station license that seek to operate on any 700 MHz Band frequencies after February 17, 2009. The Order imposed a freeze on granting any equipment authorization requests for low power auxiliary station devices that would operate in any of the 700 MHz Band frequencies. The FCC will hold in abeyance, until the conclusion of this proceeding, any pending license applications and equipment authorization requests that involve operation on frequencies in the 700 MHz Band after the end of the DTV transition. The draft Notice also seeks comment on various requests recently made by Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) in its Informal Complaint and Petition regarding the use of wireless microphones. Action by the Commission on August 15, 2008, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order (FCC 08-188). Chairman Martin and Commissioners Copps, Adelstein, Tate, and McDowell. For additional information, contact Paul D’Ari in the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau at (202) 418-1550 or [email protected]. OK. In several places the word “tentatively” is used as it relates to these rules changes. Industry experts that I have talked to about this tell me that it is pretty much a fait accompli and any wireless device operating in the 700MHz range is dumpster food. Go, read, and then get pissed off! Link to the FCC at Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Home Page and scroll down to "FCC Proposes the Prohibition of Low Power Auxiliary Stations in the 700 MHz Band after the Digital Television Transition." link dated 8/21/08 The FCC is responding to a petition filed by PISC which is the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition. Go to Complaint of PISC Against Shure, Inc. et al. and Petition to Create General Wireless Microphone Service | Public Knowledge to read about the PISC petition. You can also go to fohonline.com and read an article by Chris Bray titled "Exactly Who Is Behind Google’s Grab for “White Space?" in their more news section of the FOH magazine website. I can not believe this has been in the press for two weeks now and is not getting more coverage. Spread the word through whatever other forums you use. Copy and E-mail this information to others in the industry. Put it out there in your blogs and newsletters. There is a 30 day comment window open to us which closes 9/21/08. Make your voice known to the FCC regarding this topic or start buying more XLR cables and wired mics.