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News Operations to FCC: Preserve Our Wireless Mic Channels

As the FCC considers how to repacking and
reconfigure the broadcast band after the broadcast spectrum incentive auctions,
network and local TV news operations want to make sure it continues to reserve
two channels in each market for wireless microphones.

In a letter to the
FCC, the four major broadcast news nets, the Radio-Television Digital News
Association, broadcast groups and others said they were concerned that the FCC's
band plan discussions don't appear to include preserving "a future with
clean spectrum for microphones." The groups say that would put lifesaving
news and information at risk.

"[A] band plan
that eliminates all dedicated spectrum for wireless microphones just three
years after the Commission created the two-channel reservation with the express
recognition of its importance--would be highly arbitrary and capricious."

They argue that big
events could draw hundreds of microphones from not only domestic TV and radio
stations and broadcast and cable network news outlets, but international
outlets, print journalists using multimedia, online news operations and

They say
interference-free use of wireless mics was "integral" to the coverage
of the Boston Marathon bombing, tornados in Oklahoma, and the Derecho
and "Snowmageddon" storms that hit Washington.