Megachurch Minister Protests Use of 'White Spaces'
You probably know him from TV -- the megachurch minister from Texas who never seems to have a shortage of motivational religious sayings. Now he's trying to make sure no one messes with those TV airwaves -- and more importantly, the microphones he uses during his services.
Joel Osteen sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission today in protest of the proposal by tech giants Google and Microsoft (among others) to use the unlicensed airwaves, known as white spaces, shared by wireless microphones to provide wireless broadband. The makers of wireless mics, which are used in concerts, Broadway shows, live broadcasts and church services, are concerned that sharing the airwaves will interfere with their signals and knock their productions off the airwaves.
"I am concerned that should the FCC turn a blind eye to wireless microphone use in Houses of Worship and open these respective frequencies to new unlicensed devices, the Commission will cause immeasurable damage to our ability to minister. Static and audio dropouts due to interference from an unlicensed mobile wireless device would create a devastating distraction," the letter states.
"From what I have read about the testing conducted by the FCC there is clearly no reliable technology that can protect wireless microphones from the interference that comes from new portable devices operating in the same or adjacent channels as wireless microphones. We have worked diligently to coordinate the use of the wireless microphone systems that we deploy in each of our services. Adding new electronic devices to the mix would make our audio programming and coordination virtually impossible."
Osteen's church has 40,000 members, and the services are watched by another 7 million via TV broadcasts, he said.
The FCC is expected to release a report on its findings from the testing of these devices in a couple of weeks.
October 7, 2008; 1:47 PM ET
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