600 MHz Wireless Microphones and In-Ear Monitors Are Now Officially Illegal!

It’s Finally Here

The big change in wireless system operations was implemented this summer when the deadline for operating any wireless devices on the 600MHz frequency expired. This had been a gradual transition since the Broadcast Incentive Auction in April of 2017 by the FCC. As a result, beginning on July 13, 2020 the FCC has declared it illegal for any wireless microphone systems to operate on the 600MHz frequency. Wireless devices operating within the 617-652MHz and 663-698MHZ range will be in violation of the law and may incur penalties of up to $16,000 per day per channel usage.

Why the change?

The FCC instated the Broadcast Incentive Auction primarily to make room for new mobile wireless and cable companies. Their intent was to repurpose a large amount of UHF frequencies previously held by TV channels. UHF frequencies are “prime real estate” in the wireless world operating more efficiently to transmit data than the lower VHF frequencies. 

The auction was held in two parts, the first being a “reverse auction” to allow television stations to relinquish their spectrum usage rights and then a “forward auction” allowing mobile wireless and cable companies to bid on usage in that spectrum. 

How does this affect you?

This, of course, is quite a big shift and is likely to affect many venues including stadiums, theatres and churches. It is important to make sure your devices are in compliance with these new federal regulations. Be advised that even having equipment capable of operating on the prohibited channels could be penalized. Check to make sure you have updated your systems and adjusted the frequencies accordingly. 

If you need help in restructuring your wireless system or replacing your non-compliant system, we are more than willing to advise and provide the necessary equipment to keep you up and running. 

You can click here for our Sennheiser special. We also offer great value on Shure Wireless Systems.

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