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Federal Communications Commission
In the Matter of
Complaint of Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) Against Shure, Inc., Nady Systems, Inc., VocoPro, Audio2000, Sennheiser Electronic Corporation, Audix Microphones, Electro Voice, Hisonic International, Inc., Pyle Audio, et al.
Petition To Create A General Wireless Microphone Service (GWMS)
To: Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission
INFORMAL COMPLAINT AND PETITION FOR RULEMAKING
Media Access Project, on behalf of the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC), submits the attached Informal Complaint and Petition for Rulemaking pursuant to Rules 1.41 and 1.401, 47 CFR §§1.41, 1.401. PISC requests that the Commission:
Begin an investigation against Shure, Inc., and the other manufacturers listed in the informal complaint, for willfully and knowingly marketing and selling wireless microphones to unauthorized users for ineligible purposes in violation of Part 74, Subpart H, and for engaging in deceptive advertising practices designed to persuade ineligible users such as houses of worship, theaters, corporate event venues, and members of the general public that they could legally purchase and operate wireless microphones operating on vacant broadcast UHF Channels without a license and for purposes prohibited by the Commission;
Grant a general amnesty to all unauthorized users of wireless microphones deceived by the illegal and deceptive marketing of manufacturers, permit use of the illegal equipment on a going forward basis until the Commission authorizes the proposed GWMS, and require those manufacturers that engaged in illegal marketing to migrate the unauthorized users of Part 74, Subpart H equipment to the new GWMS by replacing equipment authorized for Part 74, Subpart H with equipment authorized for use in the GWMS;
Immediately reclassify all licensed wireless microphone systems operating pursuant to Part 74, Subpart H as secondary to all advanced wireless service (AWS) and public safety systems authorized to operate on television Channels 52-69 following the shut off of analog television transmission;
Order that manufacture, sale, and advertisement for sale of wireless microphone systems operating on channels 52-69 cease immediately; and
Create a new “General Wireless Microphone Service” (GWMS) licensed by rule pursuant to Section 307(e) to operate on vacant broadcast UHF channels below Channel 52 on a secondary basis to broadcast licensees and individually licensed wireless microphone systems, and authorized on a primary basis to operate on the 2020-25 Band currently authorized for broadcast ancillary service (BAS) and under consideration for reallocation in Docket Nos. WT 07-195, WT 04-356 (“AWS-2/AWS-3 Proceeding”).
As explained below, the Commission must grant this complaint and Petition on an expedited basis to prevent interference with public safety and commercial systems licensed to operate in the bands currently allocated to channels 52-69, and returned by broadcasters as part of the migration to digital television. Failure to act on this complaint and Petition will expose public safety users and subscribers to commercial wireless services to the risk of harmful interference, threaten the public safety and undermine the expected digital dividend from the recent 700 MHz auction.
Action on these pleadings may also assist the Commission in resolving pending issues in Docket No. 04-186, allowing the Commission to make the broadcast “white spaces” available for much needed broadband deployment in rural and underserved rural areas. Although Google and others have recently offered to compromise on the matter of protection for wireless microphones through the use of wireless “beacons” that mimic an active DTV signal, some unauthorized users have objected on the grounds that they would not be eligible for such beacons. See Ex Parte Comments of the Broadway League, Docket No. 04-186, at 2 (filed June 18, 2008). While PISC cannot support rewarding unauthorized users with status as protected “incumbents” based on ongoing violation of Commission rules, and therefore opposes making “beacons” available to unauthorized users or granting the proposed GWMS superior rights to devices authorized in Docket No. 04-186, creating a legal status for these unauthorized users will permit them to “come into the light” and engage in constructive discussions around legitimate interference concerns. As a first step in addressing such concerns, as well as addressing the need for new channels after the digital transition eliminates the availability of UHF Channels 52-69, PISC recommends authorizing the GWMS to use the 2020-2025 MHz channel potentially available following resolution of the AWS-2 and AWS-3 proceeding pending before the Commission.
 PISC notes that failure to resolve the question of unauthorized users of wireless microphones should, as a practical matter, have little impact on resolution of Docket No. 04-186. Unauthorized users have no legal right to claim protection as against uses officially authorized by the Commission.