FCC changes require coordination of wireless system frequencies.


Over the past decade, the frequencies available for use by wireless microphone systems has decreased drastically. Starting in 2017, The FCC has auctioned off large portions of available wireless frequencies that fall between 600Mhz – 800Mhz.  The latest auction and reassignment of frequencies has had significant impact on the use of wireless microphone system in Cambridge and Boston.  As a result, MIT Audiovisual Services can no longer support or install any systems that fall in this range.  In some cases, it’s already a federal violation to operate these wireless microphones as the frequencies are now dedicated to first-responder use.  Please contact MIT Audiovisual Service immediately for consultation regarding changing frequencies of your department-owned wireless microphone system, or removal and replacement of your department-owned microphone systems. 
 
Due to the FCC auction, MIT Audiovisual Services will be replacing our on-campus microphone systems with updated digital infrastructure and hardware during fiscal year FY20. The investment in new wireless microphone systems will solve many of the problems caused by both the FCC auction and the general oversaturation of radio frequency interference in the Cambridge and Boston areas.  
 
In addition, MIT Audiovisual Services is in the process of securing a FCC Part 74 license.  This license will allow MITAV to register wireless microphone systems owned and operated by MIT Audiovisual Services and other MIT Departments, Labs, and Centers with the FCC.  By registering microphones frequencies with the FCC, we can coordinate frequencies of wireless microphones owned by MIT DLC’s and outside vendors to ensure proper function of all wireless microphone systems operation on campus. The use of wireless microphones on campus by outside vendors will require coordination through the Audiovisual department to ensure both the vendor’s and campus microphones are free of problems during their time of use. 
 
FAQ’s
 
Q: My department has our own portable or installed wireless microphone.  What should I do?
 
      A: Please contact MIT Audiovisual using AVinstall@mit.edu to have your frequencies coordinated and logged.
 
Q: What happens if I continue to use my wireless microphone without coordinating frequencies with MIT Audiovisual Services?
 
      A: If the frequencies are under the umbrella of the FCC auction, you may have RF interference causing your system to receive unwanted audio interference from outside RF systems.  If this occurs, your system may become unintelligible or possibly unusable. Additionally, you may be subject to FCC penalties, such as fines and other legal actions.  Additionally, coordinating frequencies with MIT Audiovisual Services will greatly reduce the chances of interference as other groups (both internal and external) eqiupment should not be using a frequency assigned to your equipment.
 
Q: I don’t know if my department owned portable or installed microphone is operating on an illegal channel.  What should I do?
 
      A: Please contact MIT Audiovisual using AVinstall@mit.edu to have your system assessed and documented. Further instruction can be given after this process.
 
 
Pertinent FCC Technical Information:
 
https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/operation-wireless-microphones
 
https://www.fcc.gov/sites/default/files/operation_of_wireless_microphones.pdf
 
https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-divisions/mobility-division/wireless-microphones