New Federal Communication Commission rules bearing on the use of wireless microphones that went into effect last month affect similar devices such as wireless intercoms, in-ear monitors, audio instrument links and cueing equipment, according to the Pleasanton Police Department.
These devices often are used by local businesses, community organizations, churches and residents, the department said in a statement.
The majority of these devices that operate in the 700 MHz Band must cease operation due to the completion of the digital television (DTV) transition. As a result of the DTV transition, television stations no longer use the frequencies between 698 and 806 MHz (the 700 MHz Band) for broadcasting, police said.
These frequencies are now limited to the use of public safety entities, such as police, fire and emergency services, as well as by commercial providers of wireless services, such as wireless broadband.
As a result of the re-banding of frequencies for public safety and broadband services, the use of existing 700 MHz devices may interfere and affect the ability of public safety groups to receive crucial information in responding to emergencies, the Pleasanton Police Department statement said. Use of the devices can also interfere with broadband services.
To learn if your device falls within the 700 MHz band, check to see if it is marked with the frequency. If not, check the FCC website at www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones/.
Those concerned can also call the FCC at 888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) and staff will be able to assist consumers in determining if their equipment is affected.
Those owning devices which are restricted may be able to contact the manufacturer to determine if the device can be re-banded to operate outside of the 700 MHz Band. Devices which cannot operate outside of the 700 MHz Band would have to be replaced.