FCC Threatens Churches with Fines and Imprisonment for Using 700 MHz Wireless Microphones

Kent Shaffer —  January 4, 2012

Two years ago, the FCC banned the sale of 700 MHz wireless microphones, and by June 2010, U.S. churches were prohibited to use them.

Now 19 months later, many churches are still using their 700 MHz wireless mics and risk the FCC confiscating their equipment and fines of $10,000-$112,500 or imprisonment.

While I haven’t heard of a single church being punished yet, don’t assume these are empty threats. I expect the grace period to run out sometime soon, and the FCC to gradually make examples of select violators.

Why 700 Mhz Microphones are Prohibited

Radio frequencies are limited, and the world is beginning to run out of space for all of the tech devices we want to stream across the airwaves. All frequencies between 698-806 MHz are now reserved for public emergency services, such as police and fire departments. Unfortunately, that means that thousands of 700 MHz church wireless microphones are now illegal.

To see the FCC’s list of illegal microphones, click here.

The Solution

Obviously, you need to buy new microphones, but you need ones that work in your geography. The FCC has designated select TV frequencies to be used, and the frequencies that will work for you depend on your local TV station coverage. And for churches that max out their designated TV frequencies, they can register for temporary exclusion during their services.

Free Consulting

Rather than trying to figure this all out on your own, Skylark Audio Video is offering free consulting to guide you through what steps to take and what gear you need. They can even help you save some money by purchasing your upgraded microphones direct from the manufacturers.

Call 888-365-7770 or email info@skylarkav.com to get started.

Kent Shaffer

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I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.

2 responses to FCC Threatens Churches with Fines and Imprisonment for Using 700 MHz Wireless Microphones

  1. I was thinking of this yesterday in light of the recent announcement that several hundred churches which broadcast their church services are no longer going to be exempt from having closed captioning. The co$t of all this technology is draining funds that could be used for other things. I’m sure some churches took a major hit.

    Kudos however to the manufacturers in the FCC list whose products are able to be modified.

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  1. Wednesday Link List « Thinking Out Loud - January 12, 2012

    [...] Hope the churches using older wireless microphones got the message that they now risk fines of over $100,000 US and imprisonment. [...]