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NAB's Smith Praises Rush's Mic Protection Bill

The National Association of Broadcasters is backing a bill
that would help protect wireless microphones in an FCC-repacked spectrum world.

Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) has introduced the Wireless
Microphone Users Interference Protection Act of 2013, which would create two
"safe haven" channels for wireless mics and otherwise attempt to
shield them from interference.

would require that wireless mics have access to the TV band databases
the FCC created to try and ensure that unlicensed wireless devices operating in
the so-called "white spaces" in broadcast spectrum do not interfere with
licensed services, like TV stations.

"Stations use microphones to support newsgathering
activities and to perform numerous critical internal operations," NAB president
Gordon Smith wrote in
a letter to Rush this week
, a copy of which was supplied by NAB.
"Without safe haven protections for these operations, broadcasters may not
be able to provide on-the-scene coverage of breaking news, emergency
information and political events..." He also said available spectrum is likely
to become more congested in the future.

That is because the FCC is repacking broadcast TV stations,
wireless broadband operators, unlicensed wireless users and users, licensed
wireless mic users, and others into the TV broadcast band following the
broadcast incentive auctions.

Wireless mics are also integral to NFL game coverage,
Broadway shows, and other live events.

Smith called Rush's bill an important step
toward trying to safeguard licensed mic use.