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FCC Frequently Asked Questions

Feb 3, 2010 4:37 PM, Provided by the FCC

Wireless microphones prohibited from operating in the 700MHz band


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How do I make sure I buy the right kind of wireless microphone?
Starting Jan. 15, 2010, the FCC banned the sale, manufacture, or import of any wireless microphones that are intended for use in the United States in the 700MHz band. Therefore, the wireless microphones that are available for sale after this date should be devices that legally operate in other frequency bands (such as TV channels 2-51) where wireless microphone use is permitted.

All users of wireless microphones may operate the equipment on an unlicensed basis, subject to certain restrictions: the device (1) must not be operated at a power level in excess of 50 milliwatts, (2) may not cause harmful interference, and (3) must be operated in a way that accepts any interference that may be received. For most users— such as theaters, churches, schools, conference centers, theme parks, and musicians—the use of this device is unlicensed.

Most wireless microphones are designed to operate with 50 milliwatts or less. Users are advised to consult their owner’s manual, or other materials provided by the manufacturer or distributor, to determine the output power of their wireless microphone.

Some users are eligible to obtain a license to operate these devices. These include specified entities—such as licensees of AM, FM, or TV stations, broadcast networks, and cable television system operators—set forth in the FCC’s rules (pursuant to Part 74). These entities must first obtain a license before operating under the rules permitted for licensed use.

Can I become a FCC Part 74 licensee and get a more powerful wireless microphone?
Part 74 licenses are limited to AM, FM, TV stations, broadcast networks, and cable television systems operators. (See 47 CFR § 74.832.) To obtain a license, you must be qualified under these limitations, file an application with the FCC, and pay the necessary fees.

My wireless microphone used to work fine. Now I am getting static or interference. What happened?
If you have recently started to receive large amounts of interference, you are most likely causing interference to a public safety entity or wireless broadband provider. Any wireless microphone causing interference in the 700MHz band must cease operations immediately. Additional information about stopping the use of your wireless microphone prior to June 12, 2010 can be found at www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones.

What do I do with my old equipment?
Remember to recycle any electronic equipment you are discarding. Recycling electronic equipment recovers valuable materials from the circuit boards, metal wiring, leaded glass, and plastics. Call your local household hazardous waste collection and recycling program to find out whether they will be sponsoring an upcoming event to recycle electronics.

You can also check out the following websites to find a recycling program near you:
(Identifying resources and locations for electronics recycling does not constitute the FCC’s endorsement of the services.)

Earth 911
www.earth911.com/electronics
Earth 911’s zip-code based search engine enables you to find recycling and reuse options in your community for a variety of products.

National Recycling Coalition
www.nrc-recycle.org/localresources.aspx
This page provides links to state recycling resources. Many communities have special collection and recycling days that are highlighted on their websites.

My Green Electronics
www.mygreenelectronics.org
On this Consumer Electronics Association site, you can learn you can learn more about purchasing “green” electronic products and search for recycling opportunities.

For more information about the use of wireless microphones you may contact the FCC at:
Federal Communications Commission Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20554
Phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)
Fax: (202) 418-0232
E-mail: fccinfo@fcc.gov



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