In an action that is intended to “accelerate the build out of 4G wireless networks,” the FCC ordered wireless mic users to vacate the 700 MHz band by June 12 as it launched further proceedings on rules that would enable wireless mics to operate on an unlicensed basis in the core TV bands. The FCC’s decision ties up the last remaining loose ends associated with last year’s digital television transition, which left former analog television spectrum in the 700 MHz band available for use by public safety entities and by mobile phone operators that intend to use that spectrum for wireless broadband and other 4G wireless services. Auctions of 700 MHz band licenses were completed in March 2008, netting a record $19 billion in winning bids. (However, the fate of the 700 MHz D-block license that originally had been earmarked for a joint nationwide public safety-commercial wireless network remains in question as further FCC rulemaking proceedings are still in progress.) Under the order released last Friday, wireless mics now operating in the 700 MHz band would have to move out of that band by June 12 or within 60 days of being notified by a 700 MHz band licensee, whichever comes first. Wireless mic users in the 700 MHz band will also be required to cease operations immediately if they cause harmful interference to commercial or public safety licensees. The FCC also waived its rules to allow wireless mics to operate in the core TV bands pending FCC action on a further rulemaking notice, issued simultaneously with Friday’s order, that proposes technical rules for the operation of wireless mics in the core TV bands under Part 15 of the FCC’s rules. The order further prohibits the “manufacture, import, sale, lease . . . or shipment of wireless microphones and other low power auxiliary stations intended for use in the 700 MHz band” effective with the order’s publication in the Federal Register, and requires wireless mic manufacturers and retailers to provide “clear notice to consumers about the basic terms and conditions under which they may use” wireless mics. Steve Largent, the president of wireless association CTIA, applauded the order as one that “will help ensure that harmful interference does not hamper commercial wireless carriers’ [4G] deployment plans.” Declaring, “we are glad to see that the FCC recognizes the . . . tremendous public benefits created by wireless microphones,” a spokesman for wireless mic manufacturer Shure, Inc. said his company “looks forward to working closely with the Commission and contributing our insight as this proceeding moves forward.”