Editor's note: Since this posting appeared on January 22, Your Church has published a more in-depth article on the FCC's ruling: "Racing the FCC Mic Deadline."
The Federal Communications Commission has set a deadline of June 12 for organizations to stop using any wireless systems, including microphones, currently operating in the 700 megahertz (MHz) frequency.
The restriction includes churches.
In its prepared statement, the FCC didn't indicate what penalties, if any, organizations might face for not complying. The FCC says the deadline will help eliminate potentially harmful interference with public safety systems now using the frequency. The deadline also will allow companies that purchased slices of the spectrum in 2008 to now pursue next-generation 4G wireless devices, the FCC says.
Church leaders who aren't sure whether their systems use the frequency can find out on a website created by the FCC.
The FCC's announcement shouldn't come as a surprise, but that may not ease the sting for church leaders who now face the prospect of replacing or modifying their current microphone systems to comply. Your Church covered this looming possibility in May, and included some possible solutions that may not require buying a new system.
In a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review article, two church leaders indicated they'll likely need to replace equipment. One estimates it will cost the church $2,400 to replace four mics affected by the changes.
Most telecommunications providers currently use 3G standards, which allow simultaneous voice and data transmissions at faster rates of speed. The upgrade to 4G will accelerate the speeds of those transmissions and widen the types of services those providers can offer. Companies, including AT&T and Verizon, paid the FCC billions of dollars through a 2008 auction for the rights to portions of the spectrum.
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