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

(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.

Bruce Springsteen performs at Fenway Park in Boston last August, with a cordless microphone.
Bruce Springsteen performs at Fenway Park in Boston last August, with a cordless microphone.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
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