The Broadcast Incentive Auction began on March 29, 2016. It was authorized by Congress to reallocate the most powerful radio airwaves to mobile wireless companies in order to enable next generation (5G) wireless services. The auction was formally closed on April 13, 2017 and the FCC released a formal notice beginning the 39-month transition period.
Television broadcasters are among those who are most affected by the changes in the radio spectrum changes. In spite of this, most consumers will experience little or no changes to the way they access television services. Those using wireless microphone and in-ear monitor systems, however, may be required to replace equipment within the transition period in order to comply with the changes.
Which Systems Are Affected?
The wireless systems that are affected by the changes are those that operate on frequencies ranging from 616-653MHz and 663-698MHz. To determine whether your systems operate in these ranges, you may inspect the cases of individual components, check user manuals, or simply contact us.
What Must I Do If I Have Affected Systems?
The easiest thing you can do is to contact us. We will work with our partners to replace your affected components. Many of our partners are offering trade-in rebate programs and we will be happy to help you take advantage of these offers.
Although the transiton period will not end until 2021, we recommend that you not wait to replace your affected systems. Product manufacturers may experience high demand for replacement products and many rebate programs are only available until early- to mid-2018.
If you have a significant number of affected wireless systems, begin planning and budgeting for replacements equipment now.
The Transition Period
You may continue to use your affected systems during the transition period. During this time, however, your wireless systems may be affected by interference from operations of new licensees.
Once the transition period ends, operation of systems on the auctioned spectrum will be prohibited by law.
We have compiled a number of resources to help you understand the Broadcast Incentive Auction and its effects on your wireless systems. If you would like more detail than we have provided above, review the information below or simply give us a call. We are ready to help with your successful transition to compliant wireless technology.