|Ofcom is calling on licensed wireless microphone users in the UK to register for a Government funding scheme set up earlier in 2010 to help pay for the replacement of channel 69 equipment which will stop working in 2012. The scheme closes on 31 December 2010.
Countries across Europe are clearing a block of frequencies to make way for new services like next-generation mobile broadband. Part of this block – called channel 69 (854-862 MHz) – is used by wireless microphones. Replacement frequencies for channel 69 have been made available in channel 38 (606-614 MHz) as well as other frequencies – but existing microphones will need to be replaced or modified to work at these new frequencies.
In July 2010, the Government announced that it will be providing a contribution towards the cost of new equipment for those users who are eligible under the terms of the scheme. Those affected will receive roughly 55% towards the cost of replacing their equipment.
Eligible applicants will have held a valid WT Act channel 69 licence for at least part of the period between 3 February 2008 and 2 February 2009 inclusive. The exception to this will be equipment hiring companies that can prove their channel 69 business exclusively involves renting out (and not installing or operating) channel 69 equipment. The equipment must be in working condition and capable of tuning to channel 69 but not to channel 38. It must have been bought before 30 June 2009.
Users who consider themselves eligible for funding must register their claim by 31 December 2010. Any claim received after this date will not be accepted under the terms of the funding scheme.
Applicants can register and manage their claims online at www.pmsefunding.co.uk or call the free helpline on 0800 011 3617