Shure 'concerned' over digital device interference

The US Federal Communications Commission has voted to allow technology companies like Google, Microsoft, Dell, and Motorola to produce 'white spaces' devices that will use the same radio frequency (RF) spectrum now being used by wireless microphone systems. 

Final text of the rules is not yet available, but the order is likely to greatly reduce the amount of clear spectrum available for use by professional audio and communications equipment.

The Commission adopted some elements of a wireless microphone interference protection plan proposed by audio entertainment company Shure. However, Shure is concerned that the Commission’s action opens the door to a new breed of wireless gadgetry that relies on unproven technology as a safeguard against interference to wireless microphones.

Shure is also concerned that the Commission did not reserve an appropriate number of channels for flawless operation of wireless microphone equipment and did not address several important issues necessary to ensure a robust geolocation-based database for protection of large scale events, as the Company had proposed.

“While not unexpected, today’s FCC decision will greatly complicate the lives of wireless microphone users across the US and negatively affect tens of millions of Americans listening to live and broadcast events,” said Mark Brunner, Shure’s senior director, Global Public and Industry Relations.

The company claims to have support of over 50 members of Congress, including Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, and voices as significant and diverse as Dolly Parton, Guns N Roses, the Grand Ole Opry, the Shubert Theater Organisation, Harrah’s Entertainment, the American Federation of Musicians, the Country Music Association, The Recording Academy, the NFL, NASCAR, the NBA and other major sports leagues.

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