FCC Licensing Information for Motion Picture & Television Production
From the IATSE Local 695 Technical Trends Committee
January 23, 2017 – The FCC’s Incentive Auction, mandated by the Congress of the United States of America, has been concluded. In Stage 4 of the Auction, proceeds from the “Forward Auction” (Broadband industries bidding for bandwidth) have exceeded the costs required by existing UHF TV stations in the target band to cash out or relocate (the “Reverse Auction”) by $5,000,000,000. In practical terms, all wireless microphone operation in the US must cease operation above 608 MHz by 2020. For Lectrosonics users, Block 23 will be the highest Block usable. The has not yet posted an R&O with exact date details, but the Technical Trends Committee will make that information available when the FCC does.
Excerpted from: “600 MHz spectrum auction update and impact on 5G” RCR Wireless News August 3, 2016 “…On this week’s Carrier Wrap, we spoke with Dan Hays, principal at PwC’s Strategy& division to get his insight into the Federal Communications Commission’s ongoing 600 MHz spectrum auction proceedings.” “… the FCC is set to begin the first round of the proceedings forward auction, which is scheduled to begin Aug. 16. The government agency recently released a list of 62 companies qualified to participate in the process, which included three of the nation’s four largest operators, as well as a number of rural operators and designated entities. Those qualified include Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile US, U.S. Cellular and C Spire, as well as some international interest in the form of Japan’s NTT DoCoMo, which is expected to bid on FCC controlled licenses covering Pacific islands. Hays noted that it’s unlikely the forward auction will see total bids match the target set by television broadcasters, which will likely result in the FCC moving forward on plans to conduct a second round of activity. That move is expected to delay a potential end of the proceedings until next year, which when factoring in the 39-month spectrum transition time frame, will see all of the 600 MHz spectrum not available for commercial use until at least 2020, though some could be available sooner depending on transition plans.”
Karl Winkler, from Lectrosonics, discusses the future of wireless audio and how FCC licensing by Motion Picture & Television users can have an impact upon the outcome.
NAB 2013 – Lectrosonics from Gotham Sound on Vimeo. On May 15th, the FCC will vote on an incentive auction of the “600 MHz” band of the RF spectrum, to the broadband wireless industry. Despite vociferous objection from the NAB, wireless mic manufacturers, wireless mic users, Low Power TV Stations and repeater services, it is expected that the FCC will service the desires of the mega-carriers and vote to remove the 700 MHz band from public, licensed use. If passed, the incentive auction will remove Lectro blocks 24, 25, 26, and half of 23 from our use. Even Channel 37, reserved for half a century for radio-telescopy may go away. Despite a very articulate brief filed by Shure, that asked the FCC to compensate professional equipment users for the cost of moving their equipment out of the 700 MHz band, it is doubtful that this will happen. Many of the briefs filed by the mega-carriers actually call for a freeze on new Part 74 Licenses! That’s us……. THE ONLY WIRELESS MICROPHONE USERS WHO WILL BE ABLE TO CLAIM THEY ARE BEING HARMED ARE LICENSE HOLDERS. OUR VOICE IS WEAK BECAUSE ONLY A VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE OF PROFESSIONAL WIRELESS MICROPHONE USERS HOLD LICENSES. I strongly urge any entertainment professional who turns a transmitter on as part of your daily work, get a license, and now… If you wish to read the briefs and ex parte comments on file with the FCC on the incentive auction: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment_search/execute?proceeding=08-167 Click on the “View” link to read each one. If you do not hold a license, apply for one immediately. If you do hold a license, or have an application pending, please submit an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org …and state your name, call letters (or the words ‘license pending’), your location, and your Local Union affiliation (if affiliated). This email address will be used to keep you informed of late breaking developments, and will solicit your support in communications with the FCC. GET YOUR LICENSE NOW, AND SPREAD THE WORD. Respectfully yours, Jay Patterson, CAS
Chairman, IATSE Local 695 Technical Trends Committee/FCC Project
Information provided on this website pertains to that narrow strip of the radio frequency spectrum within which thousands of Motion Picture and Television sound professionals working in the U.S. operate to earn their livelihood each and every day. Rapid changes in technology and in the use of radio “white spaces” have endangered many of the radio frequencies previously available for our use, which causes us to seek a more thorough understanding of the FCC’s rules and regulations under which we operate. Full compliance with those rules can keep you legal, can avoid the possibility of extremely high fines levied against you and can also give you a voice and the ability to preserve that small portion of the spectrum that you need in order to effectively perform your work. Read the information found on this website, come back periodically for updates and do your own research in order to stay on top of these very important issues.