Proposed “white space” broadcast streams have been found to interfere with wireless microphones, so the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed an elegant solution: ban wireless microphones in the relevant 700 MHz band.

The move helps pave the way for the use of white space – unused airwaves between broadcast channels. The main proponent for such a plan is Google, which wants unlicensed access to the spectrum for wireless services.

The FCC proposal would prohibit low-power auxiliary stations in the 700 MHz band after the end of the digital television (DTV) transition on Feb. 17. That band is occupied by broadcast TV channels 52-69. Low-power auxiliary stations are authorized for such uses as wireless microphones, cue and control communications, and synchronization of TV camera signals. 

Of the 943 active low-power auxiliary station licenses, 156 are currently authorized to operate in the 700 MHz band. Of those 156 licenses, most are authorized to operate in other spectrum bands, as well, and only 30 are authorized to operate only in the 614-806 MHz band, of which the 700 MHz band is a part, the FCC said.

After the end of the DTV transition, low-power auxiliary stations would be able to continue operating in additional spectrum bands that allow such operations on a secondary basis, including certain broadcast television channels below 700 MHz.

More Broadband Direct:

• Orduna heads to Canoe Ventures as CTO

• ACC responds to FCC's must-carry decision

• FCC proposes clearing 700 MHz band for Google

• Concurrent posts 2008 profit

• Symmetricom posts $13.6M fourth-quarter loss

• SCTE offering seminars to prepare industry for DTV transition

• Broadband Briefs for 8/22/08