Airwaves Fight Threatens ... Cordless Microphones?
Big churches aren't happy, and neither is the NFL
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2013 5:09 PM CST
Bruce Springsteen performs at Fenway Park in Boston last August, with a cordless microphone.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

(Newser) – Might the cordless microphone go the way of Betamax? The Wall Street Journal calls attention to a weird battle in the ongoing fight over control of the nation's airwaves, one that has united groups such as megachurches, the NFL, and Broadway theaters. They're all lobbying to save cordless mics. The problem? These mics "aren't using just any old airwaves, but part of the spectrum best suited for carrying large amounts of data," explains the Journal.

Tech giants such as Google and Microsoft want to claim those airwaves, asserting that frequencies devoted to inefficient mics are "left bereft of broadband services that tens of millions of consumers could use." The counter-arguments aren't always as sweeping: The NFL complained last month that the airwaves already are so crowded that coaches sometimes are "unable to communicate plays to their quarterbacks." The FCC promises it is listening to both sides carefully as it tries to figure out a resolution.

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Showing 3 of 22 comments
Feb 9, 2013 1:25 AM CST
They are listening to both sides but one side keeps cutting out.
Feb 8, 2013 8:30 PM CST
This is such a non-story. Even if that block was restricted for high-bandwith data, new cordless mics using another part of the spectrum would be released within weeks of the announcement. Its not like anyone would be going back to cords.
Feb 8, 2013 7:45 PM CST
Google also wants your television spectrum. In 2014, there is going to be what is called a reverse auction. This is a time when the broadcast television spectrum is going to be sold to the highest bidder. What does that mean for you? If you have Dish services or cable, you are probably fine. What if you are a poor person of little means who uses the digital television converter box as your only source for television? Well, I get screwed by Obama. Its a way he's come up to get about $15B in new revenue. I guess that's a lot of new Section-8 apartments he can build for that. So what happens when the cable and dish go out. What happens in a severe thunderstorm and your dish goes out? The F.C.C is willing to gamble you will just hide out in your closet for a day and you'll be fine.