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School mic frequency sold by federal regulators

School has three years to change wireless mic system after FCC sold frequency

Staff writer

By the time freshmen theatre students are seniors, Marion schools must cease operation of their wireless microphones.

Wireless microphones used by Marion schools for theatrical and other performances — as well as houses of worship, sporting events, and other users — must cease operation of devices using most 600 MHz frequencies.

The Federal Communications Commission sold most 600 MHz frequencies to wireless phone services in April, and other uses of those frequencies must cease by July 2020.

Marion-Florence superintendent Aaron Homburg said he spoke with his FCC expert.

“Are they going to say we have to find a new frequency, or are they going to charge us for using that frequency, I don’t know,” Homburg said.

He said the school may be able to purchase an adapter to change the frequency. If not, they may have to ask permission to use the frequency, or a fine could be assessed.

“From what I understand is I don’t think they can’t just — it’s not like a switch — flip it on and off, but right now we have permission to use that frequency,” Homburg said.

An update was run on the sound system for unrelated technical issues earlier in the school year.

Last modified Nov. 2, 2017

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