Audio-technica-atw-1811d-wireless-microphone-system-125x69My Audio Technica wireless mic operates in the 700 MHz Band, which was never a problem until the switch to digital TV allowed the FCC to auction off the 700 MHz frequency band for $19.5 billion in 2008. As a result, it is illegal for anyone to operate their 700 MHz wireless mic as of today.

From the FCC announcement:

Certain wireless microphones have operated in frequencies that are needed for public safety. When these microphones were first designed, the frequencies they used were in between the frequencies that television stations used to broadcast television programs. With the completion of the digital television (DTV) transition on June 12, 2009, television stations no longer use the frequencies between 698 and 806 MHz (the 700 MHz Band) for broadcast. These frequencies are now being used by public safety entities (such as police, fire and emergency services) and by commercial providers of wireless services (such as wireless broadband services). The wireless microphones that had been operating in the old TV broadcast channels can cause harmful interference to these public safety and wireless consumer services. Therefore, all users of wireless microphones (or certain low power auxiliary stations) that operate on any of the frequencies in the 700 MHz band – including both licensed users (under Part 74) and unlicensed users – now have to stop operating in this band.

So, what to do with now-useless (or at least now-contraband) wireless microphones? Audio Technica has a trade-in program offering 15% off the purchase of a new AT mic (Sennheiser has a similar program, as do other manufacturers). I'm not ecstatic about having to buy a new wireless system despite the old one working fine, but I suppose this tech stuff doesn't last forever anyway.

Anyone else have a 700 MHz microphone brick?

[via DV Culture]