In response to an announcement made late last week by the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology that it will begin field testing of prototype White Spaces devices, Shure senior director of Public and Industry Relations Mark Brunner sounded a sanguine note saying, "We look forward to continuing to offer our full assistance and expertise to the Commission as it formulates the test parameters and protocol."

According to a public notice released by the FCC dated Thursday, July 10, the field testing will take place over a four-week period. With specific dates, times, and locations being updated regularly on the FCC's website, the testing will be open to the public.

Urban, suburban, and rural test sites for DTV have been identified, and as of this writing include Patapsco Valley State Park in Elkridge, Maryland, an aircraft observation area at Baltimore/Washington International Airport, and multiple residences in Maryland and Washington DC. Wireless microphones are slated to be tested at one sports and one entertainment venue to be named at a later date.

"Shure is gratified to see that the Commission has acknowledged the importance of protecting wireless microphones used in sports and entertainment by including host facilities for such events in its plan," Brunner added, also noting that wireless microphones are integral to many other types of productions used in a wide range of environments. "Although the FCC's laboratory testing has not conclusively revealed that White Spaces spectrum sensing technology will reliably protect wireless microphone operations, thorough and well-designed field testing will allow the Commission to meet its commitment to consider the scientific evidence of whether the proposed technology solutions will protect incumbent users from interference. All stakeholders will be best served by data that is both comprehensive and meaningful."