It seems that the FCC is dividing wireless mic users and devices
into two classes:
Licensed (Part 74) users. Those eligible to obtain a license under
Part 74 include broadcast stations, and crucially, motion picture and
Unlicensed (Part 15) devices. This includes everyone not eligible
for a Part 74 license, which right now includes theatrical
productions, concerts and other non-broadcast/filmed events, houses
of worship, PTA meetings, etc, etc. It also includes 802.11 WiFi
devices and cordless phones and will includes the upcoming TVBD
("white space") subscriber devices.
Most of our readers are eligible to obtain an FCC license, since
the FCC's definition of a motion picture producer is, "a person or
organization engaged in the production or filming of motion
pictures." (They have a similar definition for television
producers). Note that eligibility does not confer the rights of
actually obtaining the license. We recommend everyone that is
eligible obtain a license for three reasons:
- Any radio mics
covered under your license would be (theoretically) protected from
interference from other non-licensed wireless mic users and any other TVBD's.
- If more Part 74 licenses are
issued, wireless mic users will have a bigger voice when it comes
time to allocate white space spectrum. I realize this sounds far
fetched, but a big reason that white space device manufacturers
successfully argued that their devices should be allowed to use the
TV spectrum was because they claimed that there were very few
licensed users using that spectrum. Remember, licensed users have
protection from unlicensed users.
- Licensees are able to
operate their radio mics above 50 mW.
In the next issue, we will document our license application in the
hopes that it will help others obtain a Part 74 license themselves. If you'd like more information,
please drop us a line!