The 600 MHz Spectrum Transition and How It Affects Churches’ Wireless Sound Systems

Several years ago, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started auctioning off several bands of radio wavelengths to private entities in so-called “incentive auctions.” Unfortunately, one of the bands the FCC auction off was 600 MHz, a band frequently used in wireless microphones and audio systems.

The incentive auctions concluded several years ago, and cell phone carrier T-Mobile bought up much of the nation’s 600 MHz frequencies. This means that across the country, churches and other institutions using 600 MHz equipment will need to find alternatives before July 2020, or risk facing fines and penalties from the FCC.

If your wireless sound systems in Greer, SC rely on 600 MHz frequencies, you’ll likely have to replace them in the coming months. In many parts of the country, T-Mobile is already testing out and launching its new 600 MHz infrastructure, which may render your gear inoperable sooner than you initially thought.

Many churches and institutions are finding themselves in an unfortunate and precarious position. They’re having to replace perfectly functional and relatively new equipment in order to comply with the new FCC rules. This could be placing a significant financial burden on churches and institutions that recently invested in 600 MHz equipment.

Buying New Wireless Sound Systems

If you’re in a position where you have to buy new wireless sound systems in Greer, SC, you should consider the possibility that some lower UHF radio bands may also be auctioned off by the FCC in the future. To account for this possibility, it’s better to shop at the lower end of the usable spectrum.

For instance, purchasing equipment in the block between 470 MHz and 548 MHz should provide you with several years of use without FCC interference.

If you only operate one or two pieces of equipment for your wireless sound systems in Greer, SC, however, you might want to consider the possibility of buying equipment that operates on ISM bands. These bands are ideal for institutions that only need one or two channels. They are unlicensed standardized bands that won’t ever be auctioned off by the FCC. Investing in equipment that uses ISM bands is a great way to ensure the long-term longevity of your wireless sound system.

Larger organizations that rely on lots of channels operating at the same time should consider applying for a Part 74 license. This FCC license will allow your organization to purchase special transmitters and provide you with interference protection by registering your group on the White Space Database. Following the incentive auctions, the FCC actually broadened Part 74 eligibility, meaning that your organization is more likely than ever before to qualify for the license.

If you’re struggling to navigate the complicated world of FCC regulations and wireless audio equipment, reach out to Hames Pro. We’re a premier provider of wireless sound systems in Greer, SC. We’ll help your church or institution identify the best sound system for your needs, and help provide you with a setup that will withstand the tests of time.

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