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Wireless Microphones Second Report and Order

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Released: August 4, 2014
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Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

August 4, 2014

DA 14-1136

Small Entity Compliance Guide

Wireless Microphones Second Report and Order

Report and Order

FCC 14-62

WT Docket Nos. 08-166, 08-167

ET Docket No. 10-24

Released: June 2, 2014

This Guide is prepared in accordance with the requirements of Section 212 of the Small

Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. It is intended to help small

entities—small businesses, small organizations (non-profits), and small governmental

jurisdictions—comply with

the

new rules

adopted in the above-referenced FCC

rulemaking docket(s). This Guide is not intended to replace the rules and, therefore,

final authority rests solely with the rules. Although we have attempted to cover all parts

of the rules that might be especially important to small entities, the coverage may not be

exhaustive. This Guide may, perhaps, not apply in a particular situation based upon the

circumstances, and the FCC retains the discretion to adopt approaches on a case-by-case

basis that may differ from this Guide, where appropriate. Any decisions regarding a

particular small entity will be based on the statute and regulations.

In any civil or administrative action against a small entity for a violation of rules, the

content of the Small Entity Compliance Guide may be considered as evidence of the

reasonableness or appropriateness of proposed fines, penalties or damages. Interested

parties are free to file comments regarding this Guide and the appropriateness of i ts

application

to

a

particular

situation;

the

FCC

will

consider

whether

the

recommendations or interpretations in the Guide are appropriate in that situation. The

FCC may decide to revise this Guide without public notice to reflect changes in the

FCC’s approach to implementing a rule, or to clarify or update the text of the Guide.

Direct your comments and recommendations, or calls for further assistance, to the

FCC’s Consumer Center:

1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322)

TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)

Fax: 1-866-418-0232

fccinfo@fcc.gov

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.

OBJECTIVES OF THE PROCEEDINGS

II.

REGULATIONS AND POLICIES THAT THE COMMISSION ADOPTED OR

MODIFIED, INCLUDING COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS

III.

RECORDKEEPING AND OTHER COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS

IV.

WEBLINK

2

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COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS ESTABLISHED IN WIRELESS MICROPHONES SECOND

REPORT AND ORDER

I.

OBJECTIVES OF THE PROCEEDING

This Second Report and Order1 provides for a limited expansion of wireless microphone license

eligibility under Part 74, Subpart H of the Commission’s rules to facilitate the operation of wireless

microphones by professional sound companies and the owners and operators of large venues that use a

large number of these devices.2 Specifically, in order to be eligible for a license, a professional sound

company or venue must provide audio services or hold events that routinely use 50 or more wireless

microphones, where the use of such devices is an integral part of major events or productions.

Professional sound companies and large venues that meet these requirements have needs for interference

protection to ensure reliable, high quality audio. Expanding wireless microphone license eligibility on

this basis is in the public interest because it will benefit entities that require the protection that a license

affords without unduly reducing the amount of spectrum available for other uses in the television

spectrum bands. In addition, expanding license eligibility in this manner avoids distinctions based on

presentation content or on particular classes or groups of users. The licenses will be issued for ten-year,

renewable periods. The Second Report and Order does not restrict existing opportunities for unlicensed

wireless microphone use in the television spectrum bands. However, unlike licensed users, which can

register directly with the TV bands (or “white spaces”) database administrator for protection against

interference from TV white spaces devices, unlicensed users may be permitted to receive such

protection at certain venues of events and productions/shows, but they must apply to the Commission at

least 30 days in advance of the event for which they seek protection, and must certify compliance with

certain conditions.

II. REGULATIONS AND POLICIES THAT THE COMMISSION ADOPTED OR MODIFIED

The Second Report and Order expands the eligibility for obtaining a

Low Power Auxiliary Stations

(“LPAS’) license under Part 74, Subpart H, to include professional sound companies and owners and

operators of large venues that routinely use 50 or more wireless microphones, where the use of wireless

microphones is integral part of the major productions or events they host.

III. RECORDKEEPING AND OTHER COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS

As with other licensed operations for LPAS, a licensee that is eligible under the revised rule will be

subject to all applicable rules, including the requirement that wireless microphone use is “secondary to

TV broadcasting and land mobile stations operating in the UHF-TV spectrum and must not cause

harmful interference.”3 If such interference occurs, the operation must immediately cease and may not

1 http://www.fcc.gov/document/wireless-microphones-second-report-and-order

2 Subpart H of Part 74 provides for the licensing and operation of “low power auxiliary stations” (LPAS), which include

wireless microphones.

3 47 C.F.R. § 74.803(b).

3

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resume until the interference problem has been resolved.4 Moreover, where two or more LPAS

licensees seek to operate in the same area, the licensees should “select frequencies or schedule operation

in such manner as to avoid mutual interference. If a mutually satisfactory arrangement cannot be

reached, the Commission shall be notified and it will specify the frequency or frequencies to be

employed by each licensee.”5

The Commission’s Incentive Auction Report and Order,6 released on the same date as this Second

Report and Order, requires wireless microphones to vacate the repurposed UHF spectrum by the end of

the post-auction transition period, which will be 39 months after the future release of the Channel

Reassignment Public Notice

in that docket.7 Consistent with this deadline, the Second Report and

Order conditions any new LPAS licenses granted between now and that date, including licenses granted

to newly eligible licensees, on the requirement to cease operating in the repurposed spectrum no later

than that date. Further, the Second Report and Order delegates’ authority to the Wireless

Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) to modify these licenses to delete the frequencies identified as

repurposed in the Channel Reassignment Public Notice, effective as of the end of the post-auction

transition period, and to make any other related changes as necessary. Following the post-auction

transition period, wireless microphone licensees may operate only in the bands allocated for TV

broadcasting, except as otherwise provided in the Incentive Auction Report and Order and the

Commission’s rules.

IV.

WEBLINK

A copy of the Report and Order is available at http://www.fcc.gov/document/wireless-

microphones-second-report-and-order.

4 47 C.F.R. §§ 74.803(b), 74.861(g).

5 47 C.F.R. § 74.803(a).

6 http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-rules-first-ever-incentive-auction-0

7 See Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, Report and Order,

FCC 14-50, GN Docket No. 12-268 (released June 2, 2014), at ¶¶ 525, 687. The Incentive Auction Report and Order also

provides that during the transition period, to the extent that either licensed LPAS or unlicensed wireless microphone users

operate in the 600 MHz spectrum, they will not be entitled to any interference protection from primary 600 MHz licensees,

and that wireless microphone users cease operations in the 600 MHz band if their operations cause harmful interference to

any 600 MHz licensee’s operations. Id. at ¶ 687.

4

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