As of June 12, and possibly earlier in some cases, use of wireless mics transmitting between 695 and 806 MHz is officially illegal. The final rule was issued on January 15.
This wireless spectrum has been reallocated for use by public safety agencies, and by wireless service providers.
As we've said before, the FCC won't have a squad of 'wireless cops' cruising the streets on Sunday morning, looking for violations. What is clear, though, is that the wireless companies who have spent BILLIONS of dollars to buy up spectrum will be watching. One of those providers began sending letters to higher profile wireless users last year, warning them that they would be watching for any infractions.
So, it's time to stop using the systems. It will be against the law to fire them up after the deadline. Thankfully, church techs now have a firm date to refer to when discussing this with church boards. It would have been nice if they'd announced the date a bit earlier... say before budgets for 2010 were set, but they didn't.
Beyond the fact that it's wrong, there is actually an element of danger in continuing to use the systems. As the FCC order itself points out, your system could interfere with a public safety radio system. Is it highly likely? Probably not. But it is possible, and that would be bad.
So, where to go from here? More on that over at Church Tech Matters this morning!