Wireless Microphone Registration Process Now Available
In January, 2012, the FCC conditionally approved Spectrum Bridge, Inc., to begin operations as a TV Band Database Administrator for limited commercial operations in Wilmington and Hanover County, N.C. While TV Band device operations will be limited for a time to those areas of North Carolina, the Spectrum Bridge database is now available for licensed wireless microphone and other types of registrations across the country. Since TV band device operations can go nationwide at any time, it is recommended that broadcasters consider protecting their studios and other regularly used wireless microphone venues by registering now with Spectrum Bridge. Registrations are free and are valid for a period of one year. In addition, a registration made with Spectrum Bridge will protect your operations from any TVWS device, even devices using other databases. Under the FCC rules, a registration can be made with any database administrator who will then provide this information all other approved administrators.

Registering your studio and other locations where you regularly use wireless microphones now will also allow you time to put into place procedures on how this will be done in the future and provide an opportunity to train station personnel, such as newsroom and ENG staff, with the processes involved.

The following steps are recommended:

Inventory all wireless microphones, IFB and other Low Power Auxiliary equipment that operates on any frequency between 54 MHz and 698 MHz

• The operating frequency or frequencies of each device should be noted and recorded and converted to a specific TV channel since registration is by TV channel not wireless microphone frequency. For example, if your microphone operates on the 200 kHz channel between 502.220 to 502.240 MHz, you would register and request protection for TV Channel 19 (500-506 MHz). If you have other equipment that operates on the same TV channel at the same location, only one registration is required.

• Reminder: Wireless microphone operation above 698 MHz (TV channels 52 to 69) is no longer permitted.

Determine What Channels Are Already Protected

• TV White Spaces devices cannot operate on any channel used for TV operations in the area. Although in spectrum congested markets, broadcasters sometimes use low power auxiliary equipment that operates on channels that are used for TV operation. There is no need to register equipment that operates on these channels since unlicensed devices are already precluded from using these channels. IN FACT, IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT SUCH CHANNELS NOT BE REGISTERED.

• Under the TV white spaces rules, two TV channels are "reserved" for wireless microphone operations and may not be used by unlicensed TV band devices. There is no need to register these channels (however, the two reserve channels can vary within a station's service area so make sure that the channels are actually reserved at all locations).

Determine Sites Where Wireless Equipment Is Used On a Regular Basis

• Registrations are based on the Site or Specific Locations where the equipment is used on a regularly scheduled basis. Protections are valid only for the specific locations and times that are registered.
• Recommend that ALL Stations register their news or other studio locations if they use wireless microphones or other equipment in the station or studio on a regular basis.
• Recommend that Stations also register specific sites within their licensed service area where wireless microphones are used on a regular basis. Some examples of this include:

    o Sites used on a regular basis for weather reports (e.g., regular weather reports from a park, beach or even outside your studio can be registered);
    o Sites used on regular basis for traffic reports;
    o Sites such as local courthouse or government office that are used on a regular basis for news reports

Special Event Registration

• If you plan to use microphones, IFBs or other equipment at a planned special event, you need to register the event location and event times (include planned test, rehearsal times too!) and request protection on all TV channels on which the equipment will operate. Some examples of special events include:

    o Sporting events
    o Concerts
    o County fairs

• Events may be a single time event or recurring events such as, Friday night concerts or football games.
• Protections are valid only for the specific locations and times that are registered.
Registration and ENG
• There are NO specific provisions for registration of unplanned operations such as ENG in the FCC's white spaces rules. However, a number of Database Administrators have indicated that registrations, in practice, will be considered and propagated to other administrators in close to real-time. Therefore, registration may offer some protection even for unplanned ENG operations, especially in situations where those operations may be on site for several hours.

The registration process is fairly straightforward and uses a menu-driven format. The following link provides a step-by-step example of how to register a wireless microphone with the Spectrum Bridge database for those who are interested. The following are the Web address for TV Band Database registration and other contact information for Spectrum Bridge:

Spectrum Bridge Inc.
1064 Greenwood Boulevard
Suite #200
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Toll Free: 1-866-598-7426
Fax: (407) 805-3118
Direct: (407) 792-1570

Source:  NAB

Posted on Monday, February 13, 2012 (Archive on Saturday, March 31, 2012)
Posted by DanKelley  Contributed by