The Federal Communication Commission is planning to release more broadcast channels, but the prospect of improved cell phone reception and WiFi on steroids has provoked opposition from preachers, singers, and others dependent on wireless mics:
Two decades ago, the FCC released similar airwaves to the public, but no one thought doing so would have much impact for consumers. They were wrong: That band of short-range radio waves spawned baby monitors, garage-door openers and thousands of WiFi hot spots at Starbucks, New York’s Times Square and homes across the nation.
Now, the FCC is betting that another batch of unlicensed and better-quality airwaves will enable engineers to turn those frequencies into WiFi networks on steroids. The airwaves would connect longer distances and penetrate through concrete walls – allowing for stronger connections.
For a start, the regulatory move, generally supported by all five commissioners, could help alleviate pressure on overburdened mobile networks that have frustrated some smartphone users who deal with dropped calls and slow Web connections. . . .
Details of the proposed regulatory order haven’t been disclosed, and the move faces some opposition from broadcasters, Broadway performers and ministers. Those critics, who have filed suit against the FCC to prevent the release of white spaces, say users of that spectrum could interfere with television channels and would throw off wireless microphones that operate on those frequencies. . . .
Genachowski’s proposal would reserve two television channels in each local market for wireless microphones. News and sports broadcasters, church ministers and singer Dolly Parton have argued to the FCC that they need some spectrum reserved for their wireless microphones.
Is this referring to those Garth-Brooks flesh colored mics (pronounced “mikes”) that hook around the ear and have that long bendable piece of plastic that sticks out in front of your mouth? I hate those! I’ve had to wear them when speaking, and I hate them! And, for some reason, I don’t like to see other people wearing them! Or does this relate also to those battery-powered mics that you clip onto your tie or shirt, putting the main unit in your pocket with the antenna hanging out? I don’t mind those so much. But maybe squeezing out the bandwith of wireless microphones would be a boon to both church and culture.
Preachers, preach from the pulpit rather than roaming around. The reason we have pulpits is that it’s easier for the congregation to see you. It also provides a place for your manuscript or your notes. Please use a manuscript or notes. Those wireless mics make it possible for you to stalk around and even go into the congregation, which turns your sermon into something your are rambling off the top of your head. Please don’t go into the congregation.
I suppose the leaders of liturgical worship like wireless microphones with all of the turning and moving they have to do outside of the altar. OK. But can’t we rig mics at the altar and around the chancel? What did ministers do before electronic speakers were invented? I believe that was the original purpose of chanting, to enable the voice to carry farther.
At any rate, I think we should sacrifice wireless mics on the altar of better cell phone reception and wireless internet access.