AFTRA Urges FCC to Hold Public Hearings
on Changes to Wireless Technology
WASHINGTON, DC (OCTOBER 28, 2008) -- In a letter filed today with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the nation's second largest performers union, urged the FCC to delay a vote on a proposed plan that would allow wireless devices to compete for the same frequency as wireless microphones. The FCC is scheduled to meet and vote on the issue on Election Day, November 4.
The potential impact of competing devices ranges from sudden disruption of sound during a concert to preventing broadcast journalists from reporting emergency information to the public during a disaster. AFTRA has joined a growing list of high-profile recording artists and music industry advocacy groups calling for stricter protections, as well as public hearings on the issue.
AFTRA Associate General Counsel/Copyright & Intellectual Property Terrie Bjorklund states in her letter to the FCC: "We write to express our deep concern regarding the recent decision of the Federal Communications Commission to vote on November 4 on a proposed plan that will seriously hamper the ability of our members to deliver consistently high quality performances and adhere to standards of professionalism in their work. We urge the
commission to give due consideration to the detrimental impact changes to the frequency band relied on by wireless microphones will have on the media and entertainment industry and to resist making any quick decisions before providing adequate time for public comment."
Read the full statement on AFTRA.com.
The FCC scheduled the vote in response to a 400-page report issued by the Office of Engineering and Technology which proposes that "spectrum sensing" technology offers sufficient protections. AFTRA and many other groups believe the data does not support this conclusion and is urging public review and comment on this issue which directly threatens the livelihood of AFTRA members.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. More than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists are moving forward together through AFTRA to protect and improve our jobs, lives, and communities. AFTRA members embrace change in society—from new culture to new technology—and incorporate change in our work and craft. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet, and other digital media. Visit AFTRA at www.aftra.com.