I'm a freelance sound designer & engineer, responsible for the live sound (and feeds to broadcast) on shows such as The Brit Awards; The MTV EMA's, The Classical Brits, etc. None of these shows would be possible in their present form if this legislation goes ahead without compensation. I cannot see top class performers agreeing to dump all of their in-ear-monitors, radio microphones, guitar systems & communications just to play in the UK so we will cease to see these performers in the UK. The fall out of this will be extreme. This campaign HAS to be successful, or musical entertainment as we know it will suffer a death blow. I also say well done to Harvey Goldsmith for his support. We need a lot more people of the stature of Harvey Goldsmith to get behind this essential campaign.
As a long time member of the NUJ and regular contributor to PLASA publications I'm surprised and little disappointed to note that none of the leading broadcasters, TV and Radio, has chosen to support this campaign. Perhaps I'm mistaken in believing that live entertainment, directly and indirectly, contributes a great deal to their content.
Hi All,This will all be a reality sooner that you think.The Northwest full digital TV switch over happens on 2nd December 2009 - say goodbye to ch 54-62 when they start broadcasting at 100,000mW from Winter Hill on that day. Please show your support to this campaign and get our case heard.Spread the word and get some bandwidth reserved for our use.
I'm a newbie to the industry (having just completed and passed a diploma in live sound), but have been aware of the digital switchover situation, and it's imminent consequences, for a few months now - it makes me fairly angry, as my chosen career that I know and love is under threat before I've (and a number of other new engineers, no doubt) even started. I hope enough of us make a noise (excuse the pun) to get the Government's attention to do something about it.
This sell-off will cost live music dearly, with every transmitter and receiver having to be replaced. To pay only the residual cost will leave every hire company heavily out of pocket.
This is probably the most important issue facing our industry to date. The ramifications could eclipse the current economic situation making the ression look like a walk in the park. I urge the government to discuss the issue with "save our sound UK " so that it understands the consequences of ofcoms decision.
A big thanks to all of you for working so hard on making sure this issue is heard by Government. It cannot be stated strongly enough how important it is that this issue is heard and dealt with as all the possible consequences listed by Save Our Sound are correct. The Government has an obligation in my opinion to make the switch over as painless as possible for as many people as possible. This is in effect a forced lifestyle change with huge economic impact. Like many rental companies we have tens of thousands invested in wireless equipment; Replacing an entire inventory like this is just not an option for any company big/small or individual. This is just one downside, the rest are just as important and if nothing is done about this I feel for everyone who will be affected by this, as there will be 1000's of us.
We are a small rental company. The current Ofcom proposals would see us recieve less than £600 of compensation for over £6000 of Senn radio mic rx and tx. Our stock is around 7-9 years old so Ofcom consider it to be near the end of it's useful life! It is all in near-new condition, well looked after and little used, so has many years of servicable life left in it.Also, since we haven't hired a lot of mics out recently we haven't need to use the shared frequencies so haven't bought a licience which means, under current proposals we are entitled to absolutely no compensation!There is no chance we can afford to replace even half of our stock.I have become very cynical about the way the government impose new things, particularly in the broadcast area - This matter will mean thousands of perfectly good, servicable units being thrown away. This is the same goverment that is urging us to care for the environment!?!Another similar example is the planned switch off of analogue radio transmissions with the same result to millions of perfectly good and servicable radios!Is this all a ploy to generate more sales to increase VAT income, liven up manufacturing and retail???Andy
Everybody join up, we're going to have to speak as one in order to do anything about this! This idiotic plan will cost our industry enormous amounts of jobs, but being a very small industry made up of what are essentially viewed by the general public as glorified hobbyists, the only chance we have is to form one unified front.A blow like this to the UK live entertainment industry will very likely have a massive effect across Europe and the USA as well, not to mention the precedent that is likely to be set if this scheme continues.Pass this initiative around to everyone you know within your field, and we may just have a chance of altering the situation for the better...
Hi All,I am a touring engineer as well as a part owner of a systems integrator / design company. As a touring engineer, I am a FOH engineer for a major artist which even though we are not a heavy wireless user compared to some tours, we still need to find something like 25 frequencies on a daily basis to run in ears and wireless guitar systems. We are currently spread across channels 65 - 69 and even this on some days is a struggle. On top of this, we recently spent over £30k on radio systems which it would appear are going to be useless very shortly. According to the Governments current guidelines, we would not be eligible for compensation as we did not hold a ch69 license on the 4 Feb 09 because the band were not touring at this point and had not been touring for the previous 19 months and thus had no requirement to hold a license.At what point do I tell the bands management that they need to spend another £60k to replace all of the brand new guitar systems and 3 year old in ear systems because the Government have stolen all of our frequencies to sell on to the highest bidder ?.Also, as a hire company owner, we hold a stock of 30 or so channels of UHF radio systems which, although are 5 years old, are still completely serviceable and earn us a good return over a year. Under the current guidelines, the market value of these systems will be negligible and to continue as a radio mic supplier to the hire industry will cost us in excess of £1000 per channel to replace our current hire stock. (An estimated spend of approx £30k - £35 k). This is basically going to rule us out of this part of the business because our annual return on hired radio equipment would mean that it would take about 7 years to even pay for this replacement purchase.We are the only company in our area that has that many channels of radio in hire stock and, as we would find it impossible to justify a spend of that magnitude, we will be forcing people to go further afield to find similar equipment and thus increasing costs and depriving the local community of a service.Draw your own conclusions from this but this can be nothing a bad thing. If a small company like us is looking at a spend of £35k or so to replace our radio stock, what are the larger companies looking at.Show your support for this as the final decision that is made could cripple a huge section of our industry. Its hard enough to turn a profit as it is without needless re - investment on perfectly serviceable equipment.Good luck and keep up the good work.
With over 200 channels of Sennheiser high end radios we stand to go out of business. After having some of our kit stolen we can not even replace it as OFCOM tell me that we will not be given any compensation for kit bought after Feb of this year. They suggested that I hire! We are a hire company.
As a freelance touring audio engineer and a lecturer on live sound production I wholeheartedly support the campaign. I also want to raise the hypocrisy of this situation in the context of the government’s involvement in the proposed National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural Skills centre in Thurrock. This centre is supposed to be a state-of-the-art training venue and administrative hub for technical theatre, live music and events.The NSA is administered by the Learning & Skills Council, who recently awarded £5 million in funding for the new centre. National strategy for the LSC is decided by The National Council, which is responsible to Parliament and the Secretary of State. Ofcom, although independent, is a statutory corporation. It is required to report annually to Parliament.So we have the situation where one body reporting to Parliament, The Learning & Skills Council, totally supporting the funding of training to help secure jobs and promote skills in the live music and events industry and another body reporting to parliament, Ofcom, recommending the dismantling of a perfectly adequate system for RF transmission which is at the backbone of everything we do in theatre and live events.The continuing insistence for changing the RF spectrum available to this and other industries proves the government strategy for supporting the cultural industries is broken.
We want to show our support to this! The lack of clarity of the government and the report have certainly caused a lot of confusion to our cleints and we therefore wholeheartedly support this campaign!
Considering that the the use of in ear monitoring has virtually taken over the live sound industry in the last decade, it would be a tragic indictment of our Government if it was responsible for curtailing its use considering that the technology was invented and pioneered in this country. The Government is always seeking to borrow kudos from the talents and achievements of the Creative technology industries, well this is their chance to re pay the loan.
This cannot happen, ofcom, once again insist on throwing there weight around, it needs to stop. i use radio mics regularly, and will not be able to afford to replace redundant kit.
TOTALLY behind you....anything we can do to support, we will.
The radio mic set owned by our school will become unusable if this sell-off takes place. It's an old but still very good sounding Micron system, with an investment second-hand of around £3000... it would cost a great deal more than that to replace with a system of equal quality.Supporting this campaign,Frank Bradley
I agree with all that this is an appaling situation, however if our caring goverment won’t even consider the men and women of our armed forces that are dying for no apparent good reason, why should we think our industry different.The goverment see large amounts of money falling into their hands.Thanks god I am coming to the end of my working life, and god help those just starting out in it.
I can’t understand why OFCOMedy has failed to grasp the real nature of the issue – if you take our frequencies away – its useful if1) they are fully replaced2) we know where they will be in the spectrum3) we are guaranteed re-imbursement for our lossesso far 0 out of 3 – its all too woolly at the moment.John Wilson -PS PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR MP!
Everything about these propsals is ill-conceived and transparently avaricious. Thank you for campaigning against it.
We our a small theatre, we own 10k of radio mic gear. We use it every day. I can’t see how on earth we could put on our musical performance without the use of our current kit to . It took us years to get the funds for the kit, we cant afford to replace it. Without the radio gear will be forced not do musical production, cutting our income, the schools who use are theatre wont be able to do there shows……wont be hiring big bands in as wont be able to hear the performer above the muicians…It’s just stupid!!!
As both a freelance film maker and musician, I will be particularly affected by this- With all of my wireless equipment needing replacing, and rental houses no doubt putting their prices up due to the increase in costs it’s going to hit industries that are already struggling hard.
As a church sound engineer I completely endorse this campaign. As a charitable organisation relying on the donations of members the cost involved of changing to a completely new radio microphone system would be unacceptable.
This legislation will affect every aspect of audio production and as usual, the Government is blind, deaf and dumb to logic only interested in taxing or selling off assets to offset their profligacy.
This is a disasterous for the Industry – Schools, Conferences, Theatres, Tours, Sports Events, Television are all affected in some way. The cost of replacing our Radio Mic Rental Stock exceeds £100K. Why should we have to pay that!
I find this decision slightly appalling, it illustrates the governments lack of understanding and their willingness to take rash action immediately before truly understanding the full consequences of their deeds.Unfortunately the government is desperate for money at the moment and doesn’t want to cut the bankers (who got us into this financial mess) bonuses.As a student in my final year on an Audio and Music Production course I’m going to emerge from education with a severely reduced market for my skills.This country which was once at the heart of the global music industry (and still is to some extent) is now looking to limit one of the few industries it has left and thus reduce it’s economic potential on the global scale.I work with every form of music/sound technology and find it very worrying that firstly I’ve learned skills which are now going to be made redundant and secondly am going to have the task of finding a decent job within the industry I trained for that bit more difficult.
Right behind this movement – perhaps all rental companies and licence users should withhold the licence fee for Radio microphones pay towards the change-over.
? Do we have any standing under freedom to trade lesiglation. Tthis sounds like a restrctive practice for fiscal gain on the part ofcom all abit the state . Any one know some who can answer this .
This is such an important issue for so many areas of business and entertainment………our voices should not and cannot be ignored!Let’s keep spreading the news!
That H.M. Government, through Ofcom, is prepared to bring to its knees a globally respected British industry and a major contributor to the quality of British life is not only a huge mistake but one that is being mismanaged and ill-informed by people who clearly do not understand.Ofcom does not appear to have thoroughly researched the negative domino effect of its proposed actions, and it needs to go back to the drawing board before serious damage is done.Speaking as someone whose publication represents the very businesses and individuals whose livelihoods are in the firing line by the proposed wireless spectrum access reduction, I am extremely anxious that an industry whose development over the past 40+ years has given so much pleasure to so many people (not mention a huge financial contribution to UK plc) is effectively being forced to downsize or spend huge sums on reinventing itself.If the production quality of live shows deteriorates because of Ofcom’s actions, there is a major risk of the public turning to other forms of entertainment. Concert and theatre ticket revenue will drop and UK plc will lose out.Take out the ear plugs, Ofcom, and listen to what the industry is telling you. Now.
Britain leads the world in the production of live events, not only do we produce many of the greatest productions here that are exported around around the globe, but our Creatives, Engineers and service companies are found working on almost every major production wherever on the planet it may be staged.This legislation and resultant restrictions on this industry will not only harm the livelihoods of numerous individuals and businesses, it will in the long term erode the world beating postion our industry enjoys, just at a time when the Olympics and events that surround it should be projecting us yet further forward on that world stage.
Everyone in the industry needs to get behind this campaign – It has such potentially disastrous consequences for all involved, and for every member of the public who enjoys live shows or sporting events…. that’d be pretty much everyone then. I would urge everyone who is in the industry to not only add their own voice, but to tell all their non-industry friends what is happening too. I don’t believe the general public have the faintest idea of just how serious the consequences of this legislation will be.
Please don’t under estimate the devastating effect this will have on live shows. If we don’t have frequency’s available to use in live music performance it will change the way we currently expect shows to be forever. How do we get this campaign into the public domain ?
This is yet another example of poorly-thought through legislation, pushed forward in an attempt to raise revenue rather than as a means to regulate the area properly. The live music industry is still a big income generator in the UK, and this is effectively a randomly levied secondary taxation. During the current recession, the government should be trying to support successful industries, not target them. The impact of this legislation on my industry has not been considered adequately.
This issue has been around for a while and BEIRG have done a great job trying to get OFCOM to get to grips with the implications of what they are proposing. This policy has massive implications for the entire industry and it is good to see more people (finally) getting on the bandwagon – no pun intended.Having a background in live, film and tv I can see the problems this proposal will have across a broad swathe of the industry.Come on OFCOM, get a grip!
Has OFCOM considered the environmental consequences of making so much equipment redundant and only fit for landfill? Plus, of course, disposing safely of the batteries. As OFCOM is answerable to BERR and DCMS, surely it is obliged to take account of commitments on the environment and carbon reduction?
The ineptitude of Ofcom is deeply worrying. Not only are they intent on inflicting economic disaster on thousands of small and medium sized businesses, as well as hundreds of thousands individual users, they have demonstrated no understanding whatsoever of the technology with which they are tampering. The prize for them is the billions (£20 billion was made at the last frequency auction) they will raise, while they have contorted themselves into knots producing a switchover which will ensure that they absolute minimum possible to people who have invested tens of thousands in their businesses. As a result, many will cease trading. Technically, they are ensuring chaos and inept frequency management, since providing no incentive or compensation will result in a free for all with most users continuing to use ‘redundant’ equipment, which will then fail or be compromised at live shows, tv etc. It is utterly irresponsible and economically damaging to the UK’s technical infrastructure. Despite being told a hundred times by the parties who actually understand frequency management, Ofcom have failed to demonstrate they have listened, heard, or understood anything that has been said to them. The neoliberal economic ideology of the marketplace as the sole arbiter of competing claims is the only consistent, and completely inappropriate, approach that has come out of Ofcom. This is why their ‘consultation’ document was such an inept, farcical statement, which betrayed their deep lack of understanding of the issues involved, and the ramifications across huge areas of interrelated cultural and technical areas, such as most of the live arts, broadcasting and film-making. Damaging these sectors of the economy, which are hugely vibrant and important to the overall UK economy is just illiterate and incompetent government. Their ‘consultation’ offered respondents a mere tweaking of the technically and managerially inept and dangerous scheme they have cooked up, which is so obviously flawed and biased to anyone who understands the business. This kind of consultation is a pathetic fig leaf designed to give the appearance of consultation, whilst actually imposing an unjust, unworkable and unstructured scheme on people and businesses who make a huge net contribution to the economy and the tax base of the country. I have been despondent about the token and mildly polite resistance by industry bodies, and welcome a campaign which will at least express the outrage and dissatisfaction of a massive community of disaffected, unfairly disadvantaged businesses and users the UK cannot afford to be so dismissive about, as the unaccountable body Ofcom clearly is.
I am not personally affected by the proposals, but I do, however, support all those many people who will be adversely affected. These proposals will inflict severe financial penalties on many, many individual performers as well as thousands of small and medium sized businesses. Ofcom have no understanding of the impact on the technology, and the users who so rely on it for their livelihood.
Even us lampies can understand that this is going to be bad for the industry if the government and Ofcom are allowed to get away with it.
I provide technical support to a number of other amateur and youth theatre groups who rely heavily on equipment which has been donated to us, or which we've worked hard to raise funding to purchase. This includes 10 Sennheiser radio mics which would all become illegal to use under the new proposals, there is no way groups like ours - of which there are 1000s across the country providing both education and opportunities for young people, as well as entertainment to others within the local community - can continue to operate if we are no longer able to use this equipment.Hire companies etc profit from the use of their mics, and therefore can hope to recoup this cost, albeit after many many years, non-profit organisations like ourselves will simply have no choicePaul @ 10 out of 10 has the right idea - perhaps all rental companies and licence users should withhold the licence fee for Radio microphones pay towards the change-over!
This situation has been bubbling away for several years now and the industry is only just waking up to it. What many don't realise is that it's not only radio mics it affects, it applies to anything we use that uses certain bands of the radio frequency spectrum to operate, meaning that it affects many other areas such as video devices, walkie talkies, In ear monitoring, you name it! Don't think either that you'll just ignore it and carry on using your existing equipment because the new 3G technologies that will be using these frequencies will be transmitting at much higher powers that will stomp over the low powered devices currently using the frequencies.Also, don't think this is just scaremongering and can't happen, it already has in some areas! The US is suffering much the same at the moment.Compensati0n, for what it is worth, will only be given to those operators who were licensed via JFMG at the time the situation was decided on (about 4 years ago). Many operators decided to run illegally witout licenses and so were not counted in the census giving a much distorted and underestimated figure of the actual amount of devices using the frequencies. Ofcom do not care about this, to them it is an opportunity to make vast amounts of money, we as an industry cannot ever hope to bid against the 3G operators who have obscenely vast amounts of money to buy these frequencies so that you can watch videos etc. on your i-phones, the fact that our frequencies stand slap in the middle of the frequencies they want is not going to stop them and even if it were possible to buy channel 69, the power of the stuff broadcast on the adjacent frequencies would render it unusable anyway from bleed-over!I applaud this movement, but I believe it is too little, too late, we needed awareness four years ago when the whole thing was being looked at, I believe that it's more or less a fait accomplis now which will be extremely difficult to stop!We need to circulate this on Facebook, my space and any other medium you can, everybody needs to be made aware of this and the impact it will have,not only in the theatre & events world, but in everyday life too!
In these financially uncertain times the last thing we need is a government sponsored campaign to introduce more cost burdens to our industry. The short-sightedness of the motion highlights the fact we need more big-hitters like Harvey Goldsmith to outline the problems and propose resolutions agreed by all. Lets get the radio mic manufacturers on-board and lend our collective weight to the argument.
I used to be a live sound engineer and so understand what's going on here. I hope and support for the government's plans to be changed. If radio and wireless type equipement had to be changed it could cost a fortune for everyone involved and create a massive ammount of electronic waste.
The government via Ofcom looking to line their pockets again! Why stick their noses into the entertainment business, they struggle to get things right in the world of politics. There are enough companies folding already without this fiasco. As well as rental companies, big or small, what about all the schools, churches, theatre's etc who have no chance of any rebates offered and who will obviously struggle to replace any existing equipment. How many systems do you think we are going to sell now, with there limited lifespan? are the manufacturers going to take them back? I don't think so. This country is too full of "dogooders" who have absolutely no idea about the real world. Never mind, if 2012 turns out like the film, we will have no need for radio systems. Good luck to Harvey Goldsmith and Co. lets hope you make the blinkered government and Oftel aware of the huge impact their proposals are going to have on our industry.
A problem is the public is completely unaware of the way this industry uses RF to put on the shows and events that millions of them enjoy every year - we put a lot of time and energy into maintaining the mystique for the average Joe and we do it well. Losing these frequencies will seriously limit the way we do performances in the 21st Century and the lack of an adequate compensation system is a joke. Wireless technology isn't cheap and the current situation is kinda like having your house compulsory purchased for the price of a cheap caravan.No one will make a case except those of us on the stage side so lets make ourselves heard.
Sort it out Government and do the right thing for once!
I am a sound engineer from Scotland heavily affected by the switch over. We have over 50 channels of UHF radio microphones which would all need altered heavily to accommodate the new frequencies. Not to mention the expense of sending them all to get serviced and the lack of the systems availability within a busy hire environment. Some of the older systems may not be able to be re crystaled and as such would have to be written off oweing to over 10s of thousands of loss to the business.The government must do something about the situation. If not smaller hire, professional & amateur performance companies will be forced to terminate business which would have a knock on effect on a large commercial sector of trade within the company. This is particularly worrying when many of these companies have had funding from various sources in order to pay for the equipment affected in the first place.I think the only way this can be handled is by some sort of government intervention. The new HD channels this clearance would provide space for will be pretty useless if all is broadcast are subtitled programmes with no sound at all.
The Government, through DCMS and Ofcom... shows itself to be two sides of Janus but which one is looking forward/back?DCMS Masthead"We aim to improve the quality of life for all through cultural and sporting activities, to support the pursuit of excellence and to champion the tourism, creative and leisure industries"OfcomThe link below clearly states that Ofcom is going to foot the bill for changing from Channel 69 to 38. But at second-hand value, hardly champion!http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consumer/2009/11/managing-the-airwaves-in-a-wireless-world/The government sells them to raise money. The money gets subsumed into the debt pool. The Creative Industries Sector foots the bill for the Ultra High Fecklessness in finding suitable replacement equipment that manufacturers still need to design. Companies able to afford the new equipment will pass on the charge, punters will pay more in the short and long term... it's a lose lose lose scenario.Another "worst case"--- unlicensed frequencies will start appearing through your sound/evac system and you'll have Tammy Wynger and the Bingo Callers loud and not so clear when you least expect them.With the championing of Broadband/VOIP/Streaming-Video-Radio-TV can mobile broadband, the most likely benefactor, really want this tiny bit of the spectrum? why not sell them Channel 38 instead? The rational for moving from 2.4GHz to 700MHz is to get through thick walls for mobile broadband, why not give them 606-614MHz instead? You'd think this longer wavelength would penetrate even the thickest of skulls?
I am currently sound engineer for The Prodigy. We have eleven radio systems currently on this tour. The cost of changing systems is huge. We have custom sprayed microphones and replacing them is a right pain, both in time and money. I would like to urge OFCOM to adopt a public service rather than a profit making attitude and save our frequencies....
Hi all, as we work in a multi million pound industry, can we not convince our government of the stupidity of selling off the frequencies we all use ?Surely the Tax raised by said government from our industry vastly out ways the sum that would be raised by OFCOM in selling off of said frequencies.This " threat " has been going on for many years now, and as a user of many RF systems, with various artists, it is becoming a nightmare in terms of " forward planning ".As has been mentioned, if nothing else the Olympic opening ceremony is going to sound rather............... well *hite if the frequency bands are sold off for what would amount to " pence " in the grand scheme of things.Remember people OFCOM exists only because of OUR tax money, we as an industry MUST make ourselves heard.Get involved.
It's great to see such big names in the audio industry showing their support through this website. The Ofcom proposals have clearly been made with little regard as to those who will be affected by such massive changes in the way we use our airwaves. Evidently the only thing running through the minds of such people who devised these proposals is their own profit. It would be entirely unfair to deal such a massive blow to the audio industry at any point, let alone during the current economic climate which has been damaging small firms' profits along with the big players in live sound; and I fully support any action that would be taken to prevent such a large stockpile of valuable and necessary equipment being lost.
I'm a freelance engineer as well as a part of a small local theatre company who cannot afford to replace their radio mics. I've known about the frequency selloff for the best part of a year now and have been warning against people in bands buying their own radio mics, simply because the government doesn't have a good record recently of listening to those who can't throw around wads of cash. I hope that Ofcom can see sense in all of this and realise how complicated and potentially disasterous this move could be for a huge proportion of the entertainment industry.
I spend a lot of my time doing RF work and planning for tours, one-off shows and festivals, and I know just how many bands and hire companies are going to be hit hard in what is already a difficult time for many. Hire companies in particular are only just getting to the point where they have a standard stock of kit... and it works, so they tend to have a lot of it... all of which will have to be modified or replaced. As someone has already pointed out the official figures of just how many units are affected by this have been drastically underestimated. And then there are the smaller users who simply can't afford to replace the kit - they probably blew most of their budget for a few years buying it.This problem has been looming for years. While we've all been aware of it, OfCom has been dangling a carrot in front of the industry by promising to look after our needs and recognising that we don't have the deep pockets that the mobile phone giants do. There have been many attempts by many seperate groups and individuals to head this problem off at white paper and consultation stages but it would appear from the current threat that they've not succeeded.It needs all the groups and organisations to come together as we're doing here to stand a chance of winning this battle, with support from everyone from the artists, promotors and managers to the hire companies, theatres and techs. No one sector is going to achieve this alone... the government isn't realistically going to listen to a bunch of people who spend their lives on a tour bus! If everyone gets involved they just might sit up and pay attention.The whole industry is going to suffer as a result of this, not just the people who own the wireless kit.
There are many many users of PMSE frequencies that are unlicensed - mostly through ignorance rather than fraud.The first they will know about this will be the day the radio mic they have used for years suddenly stops working. Small bands, churches, local theatres, sports centres are just a few of the places in my area that I know will get one hell of a shock. Multiply that by all the towns in my county and all the counties in the country and that will make a lot!Of course then it will be too late so we need to get as many people involved as possible. You must spread the word and educate those that need it
On behalf of thousands of my UK readers who are affected immediately by this, I think the Government should sit down with the SOS representative organizations to come up with a fairer compensation plan. The longer it takes, the more it hurts...and the more money to make it whole again. They must come to realize by our voices how many small businesses (and therefore how many individuals) this will hurt. Taking spectrum away without sufficient compensation is robbery-- and they really don't want to understand how many people are involved AFTER its voting time again, do they?
This madness is tantamount to stealing. Why has this not been thought through properly?
This is a quote from the UK government from February 2009, in response to an unrelated petition about noise limiters being fitted in music venues: "The Government is acutely aware of the contribution that music makes to our culture and we remain committed to a vibrant and flourishing creative sector, of which live music plays an essential part.".As a touring monitor engineer I use RF audio equipment all over the world. The use of the RF spectrum is becoming increasingly fragmented from country to country; it is already very hard to keep track of which equipment can be used in which territory, let alone find clean available frequencies in the appropriate bandwidth. The proposed plans from OFCOM will cause even more problems domestically and for international touring acts. This will have major financial implications for any touring show using RF equipment that is considering performing in the UK.I urge the UK government to support the creative sector by assessing the impact OFCOM's plan on our industry.
Has anyone drafted a template letter to send to local MP?
Thanks for your support. Our intention is to wait and see what information on Funding is included in the Digital Economy bill, which should be fully published towards the end of next week. From that point we will decide what the best course of action should be, including a template for people to write to their MP.
I have a small rental company in Malta, which is also an EU member state. I shudder to think what would happen if such a thing happens here. We depend so much on wireless audio - I thought small business were the EU darlings.
As a Singer/Songwriter, Recording and Performing Artist over the past 40 years, who has experienced - first hand - the side effects of 'Nodules' on the Vocal cords due to excessive noise levels and 'sound pollution' on stage , I cannot stress enough the importance of in-ear monitors.With the benefit of sound medical advice and the use of in-ear monitors I have recently been able to complete a tour of the UK, AMERICA and AUSTRALIA to promote my latest Album in 2009. As Chairman of PAMRA I had the honour and the privilege of being involved in the payment of over £20m to UK Performers, and given the extraordinary level of revenue generated by these Performers across the years, I am at a loss to why anyone would want to undermine such a national asset... so, I would urge all concerned to reconsider this proposal.Benny Gallagher
We have all been aware for some time of the digital switchover but this is ridiculous. The government are forcing companies across the country to spend hundreds OR thousands of pounds unnecessarily. I'm a freelance stage manager, I work for some really small independent companies right through to some of the larger national institutions and both will really struggle with the cost of this, especially in the current climate. I also have friends that have small sound companies that I work for - this will fold their companies and as a result, there will be even more of us unemployed. The government are wrong to enforce this and in the long run, they are creating more unemployment. Our industry is struggling enough at the moment and this is yet another financial burden that we just do not need.
I maintain and operate the souund equipment for a small educational charity, as a volunteer. I keep the equipment in perfect order for much longer than OFCOM would admit. They should pay full cost of replacement of all working wireless microphones across the UK, but if they did, I wonder if there would be any profit in selling the radio frequencies?
As a supplier to the Film & T.V. Industry, we have a large fleet of radio Mics.All of which will become redundent once we can no longer use the 800MHz band.OfCOM's offer of residual value compensation is open to translation.Each time a client manages to drop a Transmitter down the loo, we charge the client the replacement cost of the unit. (Not its residual value) Because we have to pay for a replacement unit.If we can no longer use the 800MHz spectrum, then we will have to pay for replacement units.Therefore the residual value is the cost to the user of replacing the sytem.Until OfCOM and H.M.G. agree that we will require compensation in the order of replacement value, this industry will cease to exist.Please write to your M.P. and the P.M. and anyone you think might listen.Please support this campaign and support BEIRG.
On a personal level, I consider myself a small user when it comes to wireless technology, though as a serving Director of the APRS - one of the bodies in support of this campaign, I find myself representing a considerable number of PMSE users and equipment manufacturers.The cost of replacing my inventory is unknown at the moment, and this is because manufacturers are forced to sit on the fence all the while that Ofcom is not providing definite answers. At this time of writing, there are no solutions available to me within - and even above - my price range, and as things look, Ofcom will not be making any decisions soon. To the best of my understanding, Channel 38 is not yet finalised as the replacement frequency, and even then, it may not be available for an indefinite period.This will leave manufacturers scrambling to manufacture vast quantities of compatible equipment at the last minute, to supply a nationwide scramble of users all at the same time. I can't think of a more effective way to create utter chaos, collapse and irreversible damage to an entire industry in one fell swoop. Forget Osama bin Laden and Ahemdenijad. Ofcom are poised to do far worse damage to Britain (and that is without taking into account the environmental impact of discarding countless pieces of fully functional electronic equipment in landfills).I do not know what frequencies will become available, I do not know when they will become available. I do not know if Ofcom is arranging a crossover period where both new and old frequency bands will be available. I do not know which manufacturer will be able to provide me with a solution within my budget. The only thing that I do know for certain at the moment, is that Ofcom will not compensate me for my wireless gear because it is too old in their opinion, and that the expense will most likely be prohibitive.I find that I am totally in the dark, just like every other PMSE user in this country, while Ofcom plays God with an entire industry's fate in its hands. What I'd like to know is, how did it come to this, that a government regulatory body has been allowed to command such unchecked power.
This legislation will have a huge negative impact on the industry and comes across as a sell-out for profit over support for the arts.The fall-out of this will be of such a scale that it will certainly affect the artistic output and financial health of many businesses, companies and organisations in the industry, large and small.
Spare a thought for two excellent UK companies - Audio Limited and Micron, both of whom have been manufacturing some of the best professional radio kit on the market for the last 20 to 30 years. These are not large multinational companies, but homegrown small, niche companies who have driven and innovation and excellence in their technologies to UK and worldwide users. Their equipment is in daily use in nearly every sound recordist's kit for television and film production in the UK. These are exactly the kind of small businesses which a government with any sense would be encouraging and assisting. Yet they find themselves in limbo land for the next two years, with customers unsure of what to buy, and when to buy it. Ofcom have failed to understand the fragility of the infrastructure in the UK, and how they are damaging it, and have failed to provide any leadership or understanding of how their bureaucratic fumbling and ineptitude put so many businesses like these at risk. It is a disgrace, especially with the added stresses of a recession. No, I have nothing to do with these companies, other than as a satisfied user. But I do know how important they are to the UK skills base, with the kind of customer service and support available here which you simply can't get from multinational corporations. They are an integral part of the industry, and governments are supposed to support industry instead of crippling it.
NO NO NO NO NO!! This is absolute rubbish!! How can the government even contemplate selling off our frequencies?? Do they not realise that almost all of the live acts and theatre productions use IEM's? Do they not realise the cost in replacing all the equipment? and as for the countries economic situation, well it'll just keep crashing. NO NO NO NO NO, we cant let this happen!!I disagree with the 'New Girl' being 'fairly angry', I am ABSOLUTELY livid!! The world does not need extra rubbish pointless TV channels, get off your backsides and get to the theatre and be inspired rather than brain fried in front of your box!! I’m just happy that King Goldsmith is on board because he really knows how to fight and stand up for his corner. I’m behind you all the way Harvey.
I'm a vocalist and a guitarist in a rock band whose performance style consists of large amounts of movement. Upgrading to wireless kit has been a lifesaver for me, freeing me from the restrictions of tangled leads or pulling out jacks.Selling frequencies ultimately seems economically daft when you consider how much of Britain's cultural export is based on entertainment. Some of our proudest achievements are in drama and music. Where is the sense in damaging these industries?
OK so as a young front man for my band, I scrimp and save for a radio mic and now its going to be completely worthless and im going to have to outlay another £200 for a decent radio mic.What is the government thinking!! How dare they judge extremely good condition and working equipment then put a price low prices on it like that. People have had to work long and hard to be able to buy that sort of equipment.
The implications of a badly-handled sell-off are very worrying. Unless Ofcom can offer certainty with regard to the spectrum reallocation and fair treatment with regard to compensation, then our world-leading events & entertainment production industry faces a bleak future. We would all hope that a thriving industry which makes such a huge contribution to the cultural life and international reputation of our country would be shown more consideration by its own government.As BEIRG has repeatedly made clear to Ofcom, the PMSE sector consists of many disparate, small operators who will be crippled by the cost of wholesale replacement of their RF equipment. There are other issues - the health and safety benefits of in-ear monitoring, or the need for dependable wireless communications at large events, for example - but these become quite small problems once we can no longer attract big artists or stage big shows, or fill theatres or studios in the UK.It’s great to see Harvey Goldsmith giving his support - we need to see more from big names and artists – they’re the headline-makers. Does anyone have Simon Cowell's number?
As a producer of educational videos and DVDs I will be affected by this ill-conceived sell-off. Worse, every educational establishment which uses radio mics will be crippled. And not just courses in music, theatre and film -- lectures, promotional events and even graduation ceremonies will suffer if they lose radio mics.
Hi. Bit of a newbie to this issue, so excuse the obvious question. Can someone explain why Ofcom (ie the government) is selling these frequencies? Don't mean the money, I mean for what technical purpose? Is the bandwith needed for digital TV/radio broadcasts, or for broadband, or what? Put it another way, what would be the effect on the general public if this didn't go ahead? Factual answers would be gratefully received...we can debate the wrongs and rights later...many thanks!Jo.
Hi Jo,Ofcom and HM Govt. take the view that there will be a greater benefit to UK society in general and it's citizens and consumers in particular, if the frequencies 790-862 MHz are re-allocated for mobile broadband use/applications. Therefore PMSE will have to cease using these frequencies and operate in other areas of spectrum. However, you should be aware that this is not the end of the story as, having secured 790-862 MHz, the mobile companies are already pushing for another 100 MHz of spectrum - down to 698 MHz. Nevertheless, this campaign is not about the frequencies that we will or will not be able to use in the future per se, although the issues are clearly linked. In order to operate in the 'new' areas of spectrum it is estimated that 95% of the UK's stocks of wireless microphones will need to be replaced - because they will be unable to tune to the 'new' frequencies. Costs for this wholesale replacement will run in to tens of millions of pounds. As the PMSE community did not ask to be evicted from the area of spectrum that it most commonly uses, it seems very unfair and completely unreasonable that the PMSE community should have to bear any of these costs. PMSE should not have to pay for it's own eviction !!Ofcom have proposed limited funding but what is on offer falls way short of what the industry needs and deserves. Ofcom have also made it clear that, in their opinion, any additional funding over and above their proposals will have to come from HM Govt funds, not theirs. Hence this campaign to highlight to HM Govt. what is required and what the consequences will be if a fair and workable solution is not found.The UK leads the world in the quality of it's content production, be it film, theatre, television, radio...the list goes on and on. In troubled recessionary times the Art's act as a beacon and continue to go from strength to strength. Wireless microphones and in-ear monitors are extensively used across all areas of content production and are critical to the quality of the 'finished product'. If the specialist companies and individuals who supply this type of equipment cannot afford to replace it, then the UK's ability to remain at the forefront of this global industry will be irrevocably compromised - with the nasty side effect that the specialist companies and individuals will, in all likelyhood, go out of business.Hope this helps,Audio4All
MM Productions Ltd - Sound Design & HireWould like to offer their support for the sterling work that 'Save Our Sound UK' are doing in what can only be described as a 'complete debacle' by the Government/OfCom.
I provide sound equipment services for many theatre groups who raise money for charity. I have over 60 radio mics for which I pay my license fee. I will no longer be able to provide these services for these groups after the frequencies have been removed. They will lose out and the charities they support will lose out as there is no way I can afford to replace my equipment, this would cost me in the region of £50k. The JFMG, OFCOM and HMG are putting me out of business. Why take away the frequencies they know work for us. Why can' t they issue their "clients" with the frequencies they now wish to move us to? This would also mean that the mic manufacturers can continue to use all their existing spare parts and components that they have in stock, and continue to sell the mics they have in stock which no one now wants to buy. Everybody across the industry will suffer due to their move. At what cost???
I, like many other small sound hire companies will be hit really hard if this change is allowed to take place. We don't have endless ammounts of cash to replace new radio gear. Why change something that works? Money for government coffers!Please Harvey and all other influential people, do whatever you can to help
Having recently graduated from university, and having set up a small live sound company myself, I'm gonna be ruined by this move from Ofcom. I have invested all I have in the company, including my own speakers mixing desks, mics etc that I gradually accumulated whilst at uni. Taking the big step out into the business meant I had to supply a lrage amount of radio mics and monitors, which I needed to buy in and the only way I could afford to was to go second hand. Now my complete stock of radio kit is going to be effectively wiped out. I have no idea how long it will take to recover from this one money-grabbing move from Ofcom. Thanks for nothing.I couldn't agree more with you Cerys Johniffer, thanks go out to the legend that is Mr Goldsmith, but as much as I don't want to I can't help feeling that no-one's going to listen.
Could I just point out the hypocrisy and lack of honesty about the finances around the eviction of users from these frequencies and the deliberate destruction of the use of the equipment they have paid for? Ofcom, in its 'consultation' (ha) document whined about obtaining 'value for money' for the taxpayer. Now they have passed the buck completely and airily pretend that compensation is 'up to the Government' - despite having spent the last 6 months 'consulting' everybody on what would compensation would be fair, and how it should be allocated. It doesn't seem to have occurred to civil servants at Ofcom that nobody is asking for any money from the taxpayer or the Government, so trying to depict us as looking for subsidy from taxpayers at a time of recession is lazy, misinformed and misleading PR.The simple answer to their muddying of the waters is that the only source from which legitimate users are expecting the compensation is the mobile companies who are effectively evicting them, and trashing their gear. The government raised £20 billion the last time they auctioned spectrum for mobile phones. Clearly, if they raise something similar, and there is no reason why not, then even 10 percent of this will raise £2 billion for compensation, a sum which may well be needed to replace every radio mic in the country. And this will cost the taxpayer nothing. In contrast, Ofcom is currently talking about £15 or £20 million, nowhere near what is required. It is entirely dishonest to pretend that the government should take a colossal amount of money from the mobile phone people and not pay the cost of releasing the frequencies for them to do so, instead expecting small businesses and amateur users to shoulder the costs, putting many out of business. In effect they are forcing small businesses who cannot afford to do so, to pay for the mobile phone companies, who have colossal resources, to enable them to make even more profits. Ask any member of the government why small niche businesses should be forced to subsidise mobile phone companies to enable them to make money - because that is exactly what they are doing.
I wish you luck, but this Ofcom decision will be quietly backed and the complaints of save_our_sound quietly ignored by the current government because they are desperate for any revenue in any form to dig them themselves out of the financial mess they've got us into. The only way they will take notice is if we all complain individually and threaten not to vote for them if the decision is passed - it's as simple as that. I wouldn't recommend using one of these online email gadgets - take the time to write to your MP or favourite home secretary.
I am writing to let you know that I would like to offer the support of the Federation of Scottish Theatre to the Save Our Sound campaign. FST is a membership organisation with over 120 theatre and dance venues and companies ranging from small to large scale venues and companies, many of who own or use radio mics and other radio equipment. I raised the issue at our Members’ Meeting yesterday and it was agreed that we should join the campaign.I am writing to all our members today to urge them to write to their Westminster MP and I will also write to FST’s Westminster MP and the Culture Minister in the Scottish Parliament to ensure she is also aware of the issue.Jno MorganDirector
I'm confused by the apparent lack of knowledge here about the almost identical situation that has played out in the US over the last few years, especially since many manufacturer's of RF equipment sell there goods around the globe and so many people work in the US as well as the UK and elsewhere.While I wish you well in trying to change the tide in the UK, the problem runs much deeper and in a global sense. As many have pointed out here, this is all but a losing battle until political leaders are forced to realize that social issues sometimes trump financial gains and they quit acting on behalf of companies that have industry dominance as their primary agenda as opposed to the general public that elected them. Capitalism is dead when there is no longer a fair and even playing field for companies to compete. Companies getting to "own" air space places the cost of entry out of reach for any new business or old business's for that matter wishing to enter the market. As globalization ramps up, many companies leaders are seeing market dominance as the way to satisfy shareholder, even if it get in the way of what's best for the general public (which is always debatable - key point). And who can blame them as it's in their best interest to appease their shareholders, who they answer directly to, not the general public. All this said, to fight this battle and the many other social issues that are currently or soon to be taking place globally, it's the underlying financial motivations that drives these decisions (that effect society as a whole) that need to be addressed, examined and adjusted. Until that happens, it would be naive to think that the status quo will change. Godspeed my friends and colleagues for it is a worthy cause to fight for.
I aggree with a previous comment, why is the broadcast industry staying silent, are they not wishing to upset the apple cart, I read with interest the Come Dancing is using in excess of 60 lapel, 13 in-ears & over 40 walkie-talkies!!Things need to be brought to the MP's & general publics attention quickly & clearly, high profile events such as the Royal Variety Performance should be done without radio's to show everyone what a complete disaster is heading towards us.The next time your local MP is speaking at an event give them a SM58 rather than a Lapel, they might just get the message.
Limelight formerly Sounds of Progress is Scotland’s first professional music production company run by people with impairments. We are the UK’s leading producer of high quality Inclusive music and specialise in raising the profile of disabled artists in the mainstream music industry. As a company that tours music theatre and performs gigs internationally the proposed changes to the use of radio mics etc would have a very negative impact on all our production work. In fact it would endanger the development of Scotlands first generation of professional musicians as we would have to make new applications to trusts and foundations for equipment ,whichcould take up to 2 years. In the meantime we would have to suspend all proposed live performances. The proposed changes have not been thought through properly and it would be negligent of the government to continue without undertaking an extensive consultation and research process.
Dear Todd, first of all many thanks for your support. Our problem is not a lack of knowledge on this subject, far from it, we have been working on this issue for many years now lobbying Ofcom and Government. The process has been long and drawn out, partly due to the way that switchover has been planned in the UK. But we are now at the point where decisions are starting to be made and at this point we need to make our representations as powerful as possible.You mention the importance of social issues over financial gain, however, to Ofcom and the Government, the deployment of new mobile services and other new services in the UHF spectrum will deliver more value to UK citizens. But at what cost?The most powerful ally we could have at present with our campaign are the artists. We have seen how much support artists can gain with issues such as global debt and famine. Well now we need the artists to step up and help us win this fight which will ultimately restrict their ability to perform as they do now. Unfortunately we are not seeing many artists come forward in support yet. We hope this will change. Perhaps we should be urging everyone to email their favourite band?I would urge everyone with access to well known artists to ensure that they are aware of what is at stake here, and to use their influence to ensure that when global debt, famine and other social issues need support, as an industry we are equipped to put on a show that will focus people's attention. Compare the production value of Live Aid to Live 8. If we are not successful with this campaign production values in live entertainment will go back 20 years.Again, we appreciate your support and hopefully along with your support and the many others that have taken the time to post on this site, we can ensure that our industry is allowed to thrive and flourish the way it deserves, and continues to deliver quality productions that are enjoyed by EVERY UK citizen.
I have written to my local MP, Have you?
The government must compesate users with the massive amounts of money they will get every year from the sell of of the analogue spectrum
Although Euphonix are not a major player in venue and tour sound, we do have installations internationally and we supply consoles to the music recording world. Anything that affects the industry does affect us in one way or another. On a personal level, I go to major gigs and shows and one of the great bonuses has been the improvement in the quality of live sound in recent years. This is due to many factors but the improvement and availability of high quality radio mics with sufficient channels has been one of the major contributors. Any new frequency plan should take that into account and expand on the channels available. This is a typical example of ill qualified people making judgements that do not take into account the effect of these decisions. I will certainly be writing to my MP as well.
The change in radio frequencies licencsing has the potential to cost the UK theatre industry thousands and thousands of pounds - much of it coming from the public purse, in the subsidised sector. That's bonkers, and the additional costs should surely have been anticipated when the changes were proposed. Benefits from years of improved funding under Labour, and now we have to chuck money down the drain to be able to continue using radio mics...
I understand that the government want to create a european-wide standard of RF frequencies, but decimating an industry to do it seems a little short-sighted. Their eyes must have lit up when they thought of selling the frequencies, but what no consultant suggested was proper compensation to enable investment in new equipment. If this had been factored in then maybe the eyes would not have been open so wide...I'm a freelance sound engineer using radios in conference, live music and installed sound situations, and am not looking forward to 16 wired lav mics on conference jobs! (apart from it being ridiculous/impossible!)
I have written to my MP and have received a reply. He is very interested in the issue and has passed my comments on to the Minister for Culture, Media and Sport. We now await a reply from him.
It worked! Graham Stuart my MP has sign EDM323, maybe we can make a difference, get writing.
As the AV Manager of a conference centre in Westminster, this has been on my radar for a while.I shall be writing to all those whom I think may have an effect on the outcome.Ben Pain
I have written to my MP who is Ed Vaizey, the Shadow Minister for the Arts, Culture, Media and Sport so he certainly should be interested otherwise we are all in trouble!
Hi RayHope U well. Writing is well worth while although no one should hold their breath. Ofcom has at last seen sense about spectrum use for the Olympics [it took lots of industry pressure and money paid to experts to make them listen and to be honest they appear to be so far removed from the real world that arguably they are of little use].I think OFcom will get their own way no matter what. The money from Spectrum sell of is too great for small fry like us to make a difference. Worth all your people keeping in touch via the BEIRG site as well as this excellent forum.Personally I dont think there will be any decent compensation. I dont trust OFcom to do what is right for us users and owners. The best we may get is either market value [and that will be next to nothing] or we may get a written off value so if your gear is over 3 or 5 years old dont expect anything and if its under then it will still be very little.The compensation will only be for those who can prove they have a licence for the radio use. No licence no compensation at all.Senn Evolution 300 G3 will have a UK mod for the replacement for Ch 69 which is Ch 38 [606-614MHz]. As I understand it the EW300 G3 will work on six [yes six] of the de-reg frequencies as well.The Shure UHF-R will go down to Ch38 [J5E version] and the SLX, ULXcan operrated on the two blocks of licensable interleaved spectrum (470-550MHz and 630-790MHz) that are available now and post 2012.All this info is available from Shure and Senn UK.Best of luck to all and lets keep the pressure up - even if it may not make a differnece it will at least make their lives more pressured and keep the voice of radio mic and IEM users in their minds.CheersGeoff
Ed Vaizey responded quickly saying he would contact Ofcom and ask some questions. If I hear any more, I will pass it on.
My MP, Peter Ainsworth has signed the EDM. 101 MPs have now signed up. If yours isn't on here http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=39883&SESSION=903 then its time to get writing.
I can't believe how poor decisions the government keeps on taking with regards to our industry. As if the attempt to set 85DbA levels wasn't enough! (even though they claimed it was not in their plans...)I emailed my MP... everyone do the same! Please!T>
Tory MPs are apparently replying with a form letter, stating that they can't sign it, because in a time of recession they can't fund full compensation. The fools have apparently done no research into the issue. If they had they would realise that no radio mic owner is asking or expecting a penny from the taxpayer. However we are, quite reasonably, expecting full compensation from the new occupiers of the spectrum we are vacating. Just as compulsory purchased property is compensated for. The new occupiers are some of the biggest corporations in the world - Vodafone, Orange etc, with other huge corporations like Nokia and Apple standing to benefit enormously also. The last frequency auction raised £20 Billion. The government could easily apply a formula like 5% going to compensate small businesses and owners of radio mics so they are no way disadvantaged - that would yield £1 billion. The companies would pay it, there is no cost to the taxpayer. The upside is also that the injection of cash would benefit British industry - the manufacturers, suppliers, and businesses - at a time when British businesses need all the help they can get. So if they petty minded Tories would bother to research the topic, they would find a win, win solution, at no cost to the taxpayer. Unless, of course, they prefer to wheedle and give preference to multinationals who will benefit hugely from the spectrum, with most of their profits leaving the country.
I have emailed my MP Charles Walker asking him to sign the early day motion and to ask him that any future Conservative government look to the new spectrum occupiers to provide compensation.
Just got new system - and now have 3 TOA switchable but not programmable radio mics... no idea how much mods would be of whether possible. So... yes rather hoping for compensation.
My inventory includes some inexpensive Gemini radio-mic systems, not nearly as elaborate as my AKGs and Sennheisers, but they do cover a small range of Channel 70 frequencies. It's a bit ironic that the cheap stuff is somewhat futureproof (at least for the time being).My MP Andrew Dismore, is already on the EDM, I'm pleased to say. The Tories reluctancy to get on board is somewhat disturbing - not what I was expecting. It could cost them a lot of votes.
We are a small local charity staging musicals and shows in the Bicester area. Five years ago we raised £9,000 to buy 8 radio microphones and associated equipment which is now used to great advantage by several local schools and other amateur societies in the area. We expected this equipment to last at least 15 years. As it is managed with care it is still in perfect working order. The cost of staging musical productions means it is almost impossible to avoid losses, and in common with most amateur societies funds have to be raised by alterative means to support them. It will be very difficult for us to raise the funds we would need to replace those parts of our sound equipment which will be made redundant in 2012. Like-for-like replacement funded by a tariff on the purchasers of the band from which we are being evicted is the only fair way of compensating for this enforced upheaval.
Ed Vaizey is being extremely helpful and has sent me a copy of a letter to him from Ed Richards, CE of Ofcom. In summary, this letter states that he believes that there is technically sufficient spectrum available for PMSE except in exceptional circumstances. In this case,"mitigation measures can be taken to address any spectrum shortfall that there may be for PMSE users". This may or may not be correct and i will leave that to people better qualified than me to comment on that.On the subject of compensation, Ed Richards clearly states that Ofcom supports a compensation package that they have estimated to be worth £15-30 million in total. "The final decision on the level and basis of this funding is entirely a matter for the Government. Clearly, however, the PMSE community have every right to try and persuade the Government that a more generous compensation scheme is appropriate."The real issue here is that we don't know who the Government will be so all we can do is continue to lobby in every way possible. There are several political guest blogs out there where these points can be raised and I would suggest that those are exploited as well.
I did indeed contact my local MP for Cambridgeshire, I got exactly the same response as Ian M describes. Some sympathy, but the goverment could not afford to provide any help as it would cost to much.To be honest I did not expect any more, from the out set we owners of this equipment are small beer compared to goverment asset stripping to fund their more ludicrous high profile schemes, along with their expenses of course. I would enter into politics but I have far too many scruples.
As a Church, St. Mary's, Bramford, Suffolk, we rely on the radio system for our loop systema nd general amplification.~Why should we have to pay for new kit when our existinng one is adequate. Will the grant be for 100% of the new cost?
Having just found you, I certainly will be speaking to my MP. I've also passed this info on to my trade body, The National Association of Disc Jockeys.
Well, I can see why mobile phone companies want the spectrum. So, if they want it they have to take into consideration the commercial cost of it. There must be a priciple that no existing user of spectrum would incur costs as a result of the transition. i.e. where equipment is rendered useless, the principle of 'new for old' or 'free upgrade' must be committed to for ALL equipment by either government or the new owners of the spectrum. Nothing less is reasonable, and would surely render the UK govt or new 'owners' of the spectrum liable to legal action for compensation etc?
As a freelancer, I depend on UHF radio mics for quick set ups for interviews stage productions etc. It takes much longer to hard wire microphones and is not as safe in public places as radio mics. Sound in wedding services for example will certainly suffer. Extra time setting up wired mics for corporate events will have to be charged back to the client. As well as replacement cost for the units I have ... what frequencies have been allocated? When TV went digital look at all the advertising and help that came about from the Government... not for us small freelancers who help make these TV programmes. Media industry was hit hard in the recession (still on) this is just another blow!
I have used up to 3 radio mics for recording of sound when filming training and promotional video productions, as well as many weddings over the last 10 years. I have found them to be essential in capturing good quality, 'close in' sound where hard-wired fixed mics would be dangerous from a trip hazard point of view, and down-right impossible to use in some situations. If the Government want to make money from selling off frequencies that I use, then I want full compensation for new equipment or the full cost of re-tuning of existing equipment.
Obviously, this is another situation guaranteed to get more of our money for Government Quangos and other useless money wasting gimmicks for this governments clientelle
I recently reported a usful dialogue with my MP, Ed Vaizey, Shadow Minister of State for Culture and the Creative Industries. As a result of that, he invited me to post a blog on one of his sites. Check out http://www.culturepolitick.com/cms Also a friend of mine told me that Lib Dem shadow leader of the house, David Heath requested that Harriet Harman tables a debate on the damage caused to businesses over the RF spectrum re-alignment. I am not sure if that got anywhere but there is more noise being generated.
Hi Chris,Just a quick note to say how much we appreciate all of your efforts in support of the campaign. This is exactly the type of proactive approach that we need, and we just want you to know how much we appreciate all that you are doing.John Steven
Thanks John. My pleasure. It helps if you have an MP that has a brain. Not all of us are so lucky! However, I am not sure if he has gone as far as encouraging his mates to support EDM323. That is what is needed.
Having spoken about this issue to a variety of people who use radio mics daily I find that most are hopelessly uninformed on the matter and have been directing people to this site ever since I read about it in Performing Musician magazine.There are so many local performers out there who all own 2 or more radio mics but the last one I told about this did not believe me. His reaction was that the government couldn't do something like that and render so much equipment useless all over the country, "There would be an outcry" was his comment. I directed him here but whether or not he and the others bothered looking I have no idea.It seems so far fetched for a government not to understand how far reaching this action will be. I have written to my MP today but I have to say that I have not seen anything in the national newspapers about it. Would it not be possible for you to get the Sun or some other daily onside?
Dear Keith,Many thanks for your support and yes it's incredible how many people do not know about this yet, but believe me it's not due to lack of push from our side. It would be great if the Sun or any other national newspaper got behind this campaign, but I fear that will not happen until we get several high profile artists coming out in support. Management and record companies generally never like their artists to get involved in any campaign that might have a "technical" edge to it, fearful that they may say the wrong thing. Perhaps we need more people sending emails to their favourite band as well as their MPs.John Steven
Alongside many other backstage professionals in the theatre industry, our members are concerned that there should be sufficient bandwidth available to our industry after the switchover and that there should be sufficient compensation to replace the equipment which will become redundant in the switchover.This sector contributes enormously to the finances of UK plc and receives very little public subsidy which it very resourcefully manages to stretch a long way. But to suddenly have a lot of expensive equipment made redundant with no compensation will be impossible to bear.
May I draw everyone's attention to Barry Fox's article in this month's Resolution magazine. Anybody that doesn't understand the implications of what is happening should get a copy and if they have any sort of dialogue going on with their MP, they ahould send them a copy of that to read. Maybe we could get a reprint published on this site so that those that don't get Resolution can get to see it. Barry often appears on BBC Radio on subjects like this and surely this would be a great piece for the Today programme. Anything you can do to make this happen John?
We currently use up to seven radio mics, one instrument pack and five IEMs, not all covered by channel 69 and it has not been clear either what frequencies to move to, or any compensation we'd be likely to receive.Any comments or factual advice would be helpful.
Can you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what frequencies your equipment is operating on if not channel 69. If your equipment is tuned to the deregulated frequencies in channel 70 (863 - 865 MHz) then you don't need a license and this equipment will be unaffected by the currently proposed changes.regardsJohn
Your comment about use of deregulated channels applies to all of our equipment and I did know this was not to be affected after talking to Sennheiser.However we are all in the same business and we sometimes use theatres and larger venues where channel 69 does apply.I do not see why we cannot support the cause whether or not our equipment is tuned to the frequencies that are being tampered with.Basically a rough rule is that if you have a licence for your mics you will be affected but if your mics do not need a licence there is no problem. So yet again we have the people who are paying being treated worse than those who get it for free.
We currently use four Sennheiser radio mics and two Sennheiser in ear moniter in band E830-866 Mhz, does anyone know if we will still be able to use them in the top freqs.I spoke to Sennheiser some time ago. They seemed to suggest that we may need to get them modified, but even they were not sure!!!!If we need to modify will the Gov. pay? Or will they just give more billions to the banks???
Keith, the deregulated range of Channel 70 is barely enough to provide bandwidth for four microphones, IEMs or combinations thereof. It can not even for a moment be considered as a solution in itself, though it may provide a solution for small operations where only 4 devices are needed, or as a supplement for larger rigs which require multiple mic and IEM channels.The convenience of Channel 70 has been due to its neighbouring proximity to channel 69, enabling manufacturers to provide a continuous range of frequencies encomapssing both bands. This is unlikely to happen with Channel 38 equipment, which tunes to a different frequency range, and will probably require a slightly different aerial configuration. Nonetheless, everyone needs to support this cause, no matter what frequencies they are using.
I have recently retired from the threatre and performance industries. I am saddened by the need for this campaign. Having been aware of, and in some part worked with, a lot of fantastic developments of the last twenty years, I am most concerned that this lack of consideration will destroy large chunks of the industry I have had such a passion about for so many years. SHAMEFUL!
Steve,Once switchover is complete in 2012 you will not be able to use these systems. Channels 61 - 69 will be sold off at auction and everything between 790 to 862MHz will be used for new mobile services. Your products will then only be useable in the 2MHz of deregulated frequency in channel 70 ( 863 - 865MHz). At present Ofcom have proposals for who will be eligible for funding and how much that might be, but we are waiting on the Government to make a decision. For more information you can read the consultation. http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/pmse_funding/We will of course provide further information on this website as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime you could write to your MP using our templates.
As a theatre freelancer the UHF changeover and sell-off will effect not only the work we in the industy can do but will also mean the radio mics and IEM's i own will become useless... theres a few thousand down the pan! Let's be honest - no other government scheme has ever worked so why on earth should we put our faith and trust in this one!!!
I run a DJ and karaoke business with a number of radio mics, who is going to pay for the retuning? is it going to be down to me?? Why do we lose out AGAIN!! Someone somewhere is coining in on it, as per usual. Thanks to the powers at be!!
Received an encouraging email today from my MP Joan Ruddock (Deptford).Ms Ruddock, whilst unable to sign EDM’s (Government minister are apparently disqualified from these proceedings) has raised the issue with Stephen Timms MP, minister for Digital Britain. Ms Ruddock kindly enclosed a copy of the reply correspondence from Mr Timms in her letter to me. Whilst I do not think would be appropriate to broadcast the content of this letter here on the website, I’d invite those parties with interest to contact me directly for a transcript copy.
I feel very strongly that this whole business has been made a lot worse because of the large number of radio mic users who never bought a licence.If the true number of users and the amount of spectrum they used was shown by the licence records, we would have had a much stronger case for adequate replacement spectrum and a bigger pot of money for equipment replacement.As it is, us legitimate users are going to be squeezed into a smaller spectrum space together with the all the users who never bothered with a licence.Of course Ofcom must come up with enough money to pay the full equipment replacement costs for licensees, but I hope they will stand by the principle of not handing out money to the unlicensed freeloaders.
James,Do not be so naive. All Ofcom sees is an opportunity to channel billions of pounds in to the government's coffers, and so far, no amount of reason has put them off.Ofcom are after the digital dividend, and as far as they're concerned, 5 times the number of users wouldn't make a difference. But nonetheless, I would not worry about them not having money to pay the full equipment replacement. The revenues expected to be generated by the frequency sale will probably exceed several tens of billion pounds (if the 3G licenses sold to the mobile companies are anything to go by), whereas the industry requires approx. 100 miliion to replace all inventory. Regarding who you refer to as freeloaders, you'll find that many of these are musicians or DJs who went into one of the local music shops and were either told by the sales staff that they don't need a license, or they were told nothing. I have seen this happen, and I could name offending retailers, but I will not. If Ofcom were doing their job properly, there would be a registration system similar to TV licensing, which occurs at the point of sale, for every piece of wireless kit that is sold.Punishing so-called freeloaders by excluding them from compensation will serve no purpose other than to give Ofcom an excuse to exclude other legitimate users as well. Quite the contrary, Ofcom should take advantage of the opportunity, provide a so-called amnesty and compensation for these users, and immediately put them on the license fee mailing list. That would serve Ofcom's purpose much more in the long term.
<>No Gil. That just doesn't make sense, it gives them no excuse at all. In fact the opposite is true. Ofcom have already agreed to pay something to licensees. Not enough of course, they should refund the full cost.But extending the payments to anyone who can produce an old radio mic, regardless of whether it was ever licensed or even whether it is still in use, can only dilute the amount available to those who have played by the rules. It would make Ofcom even more reluctant to pay the full value.
I do not think this forum should be at all concerned about the prospect of non-licensed users being paid compensation. I am fairly certain the government would never pay these usera a penny as they use such a limited and well publicised "free to all" part of the spectrum which will still be there for them after the sell off.We are one of these so called freeloaders but our concern is that we regularly run at larger halls with built in sound equipment and licensed radio michrophones. This means they will need to replace their mics and thereby put yet another overhead in place for anyone renting their venue complete with sound.The smaller DJs, Karaoke operators and solo artistes using the free band have no problems as they will just carry on as usual until the government decides to license or sell off that small band.Mt main co0ncern for putting us behind this campaign is p[urely to add more weight to the license fee payers who will be affected as we may not always be running smaller venues and may have to get a license if we want to use more than 4 or so mics.If this happens then we will have to purchase all new radio mics. we therefore are supporting those already in that position but have no axe to grind with the smaller musicalact/dj/karaoke operator making use of the free band.It makes sense that those affected get the compensation and naturally those using licensed bands without paying will be forced out of using them and will have to but new equipment without compensation.I do believe that anyone buying equipment for use in the licensed bands should have to show their licence and this sell off will actually facilitate that as the mics now available will no longer be able to tune in to those bands being sold off and will not tune in to the newly licensed replacement bands.I hope that makes sense but you will see people like Sennheiser making mics specific to the new bands and also specific to the free frequencies.
More european legislation causing problems for UK residents. Harmonisation is great, but who is having to change? Sounds like us again. I'm involved with sound here at school and with my local church and all are going to be affected, let alone the local hire company which I use when we need more kit for shows. What is the government thinking of! Another hairbrained scheme to cost money. I've seen enough of those in my relatively short teaching career - nearly every year there is a 'new thing' which upon investigation and a lot of pointless reading turns out to be the old dressed up in new acrynoms.Will a letter to the MP do any good or will our European masters dictate our future?I'll try, see if we can get sense and/or compensation.
Also consider BT Vision powerline adapters are also known to fail EMC type approval, and can interfere with amateur radio bands, and were approved on a draft spec that was then removed as it was deemed unacceptable! Ofcom have done nothing to protect the wireless spectrum in that case either. Ofcom and the government are not there to serve us, they're there to stuff their dirty little pockets full of cash from the highest bidder! :-(
I agree with the comments about offcom. They are not trying to protect or serve us, they are here for making the deal happen and generate money. As for the non licensed users they are using a free band but at the same time they are buying a product that is able to operate in the bands that need license. So basically on the purchase they are paying an amount of money to the manufacturer. All these comapanies (Sennheiser, Audio Ltd etc) have bought license to construct and sell products that cover that range and they include this in the price of their product. So in a way a non licensed user is being charged for having the ability to expand if he ever needs. in the same way he is one of the victims. What if he decides that during 2012 he wants to purchase a license and use his systems in channel 69. Basically their systems are rendered useless for expansion after that date and they have to bear the cost of the situation as well and without any help. Also has anybody thought the possibility that the quality of channel 70 might be severely affected by interference from the newly heavy loaded neighbouring bands?There are many people out there that are just starting their business in the field and don't know their future but as things stand they are helpless in their effort to plan it. What happens if somebody gets a license today and registers his products? Will he be included in the list of people being compensated?Myself want to replace my systems for better quality ones but I'm not willing to pay loads of money at this point when I'm not sure what the future will bring.
With an election looming, is it possible that this issue is going to be pushed back until after it is over, or rushed through before?
Customers are screaming at us, asking us what we're going to do about the mics they bought last year. We don't even know where most of the Manufacturers stand on the issue yet!
I support this 100%, of course, but I must admit, I haven't heard anything about this.
Ofcom has said that funding will be provided for the move from Ch69 to Ch38 subject to eligibility criteria, if you read the small print, Ofcom have stated that the cost of replacing equipment should be ‘based on the residual equivalent value of existing equipment and not the cost of buying new equipment’The full lifecycle of equipment from the date of purchase should not be defined simply by the time it takes to write-down its value. Ofcom must understand that PMSE owners of the equipment need to generate returns on their investment. But more importantly, the lifecycle of the equipment is how long it operates before it breaks and needs to be replaced. Wireless microphones can last for much longer than 10 years and they retain use-value up until the point at which they need replacing; maximum depreciations are far less than the lifespan of the product. Therefore, financial assistance must be provided to replace any equipment that is still capable of operating in channel 69 at the point at which channel 69 will be cleared of PMSE. Moreover, since Ofcom cannot predict how long that wireless microphone would continue to function if PMSE were not being evicted from CH69, then the full cost of replacing that equipment should be covered by the new licensees/Government. At present, Ofcom’s assumed duration of the lifecycle of the equipment is conservative and consequently will therefore unfairly penalise those who look after their equipment, or specifically buy the expensive highly-engineered product, which is built to last 15 years. The bottom line is that Ofcom will make a lot of money out of the sale of the 8ooMHZ spectrum, and end users should not have to fund this move.
Hi Adi - the answer is 'pushed back until after it's over'...the campaign was informed that a decision could be expected before the end of March 2010. Well, that date came and went, with no decision forthcoming, the Election was then called and everything on funding has now been put into stasis.Previously the campaign had been told that a decision would be made around the time of the pre-budget report at the back end of 2009. Obviously no decision was forthcoming there either.Extremely frustrating...
We are right behind you on this. I would not be surprised if the Irish Govt. follow suit in time. Good luck from all in the AIST
Absolutley agree with comments. Personally I look after all the equipment I own and the thought of having to bin 35 channel 69 mics and purchase 35 channel 38 mics is crazy. Even though a number of them are several years old age has nothing to do with the mics. Unless they blow up, they are just as reliable and functional as the day they were purchased. It's going to be interesting how this process will actually work.If they are not going to come and have a look at all the kit (which I very much doubt), how on earth are they going to police who says they have what? Interesting times, I await my big cheque in the post!!
Wouldn't the best course of action be civil disobedience? Get the industry together issue a press release stating we're not going to junk our equipment, send out a warning to potential buyers that should they go against the industry though valid they face a fight to validate their licence(s). Surely if it works one way ie the purchasers of equipment being refused compensation on the grounds that notice was given when in reality it was not as per your article no alternative was announced, no alternatives were made available, no choice, effectively making the notice itself null and void, then to warn off potential buyers is equally valid?Now for the licences themselves did the equipment manufacturers have a licence to manufacture equipment using that bandwidth? Did not purchasers of equipment acquire (even if by default) a licence to operate said equipment on on said frequencies?Hell I thought artists and by default the music industry was about being revolutionary! You asking us to go cap in hand to these underworked, overpaid, expenses fiddling...... Damn words fail me!Even if your campaign was to gain some momentum, the larger organisations and charities as per ususal will be catered for, but sure as hell somewhere down the line the little guy will always lose. What about the small bands with personal wireless equipment, those who do not keep receipts, those who purchased second hand? Will you guys hold out and say what about the little guys we want make sure they're taken care of too? I will not be holding my breath!It has been proven MPs don't give a damn, they might give you some indicaction they care for your plight and then vote along party lines - like turkeys pleading to Christians at Christmas!The government act like gangsters and like any playground bully they must be reisisted this is in effect day light robbery, changing the goalposts let them get away with it at our peril! Let them take us all to court! If you're serious come up with a slogan start a campaign backed by large venues, major and smaller acts, start a myspace, facebook, twitter! Sporting venues will be affected, get them involved too, schools, colleges, universities, festivals. This is the new poll tax! Just this time we don't want no rioting, no spilling of blood, just a defiant, quiet revolution!Call To Direct Action NOW and damn well get them to back down!!www.livingrebel.com
Absolutely rediculous to take away our frequencies. I am involved in both churches and village hall who only installed their sound system last year and now find that we are at risk of needing to replace all our radio microphones.Unnecessary expense and also waste of good mirophones and for what = for the government (instigated by a labour government) to make a profit.Tory/Lib Dem Coalition requires to address this as soon as possible.
The government are (and always have been) more concerned with their own wealth than the best interests of the people. This is a prime example!What happens to the creative industry? Do we convert our audio signals to bits and bytes over their new broadband frequencies using our mobile phones as microphones?You have our full support on your campaign!!
I am worried to death about this my microphone cost £2400 with an extra transmitter another £1000 I have been ill waiting to return to stage so my mic is still new looking I have been paying my license even though not able to work working again soon gotta pay off debt because was unable to work. To replace the equipment would cost about £5000 due to increase in exchange rates bought on by ressesion I believe there will be compensation for old equipment based on residual value which has been knocked down to practically nothing due to the fact that the mics are now unsaleable cause everyone knows they will be illegal soon also it will be a percentage of 10 parts residual value representing 10 years life span by the time of ban that means my mics wil be worth 2 parts of nothing cause it will be 8 years old still in prestine condition so I will be forced to use the equipment illegally cause I just cant afford to replace it this mic was my most expensive prized posession I worked so hard to get the mic used by the stars it was my dream now I feel awful and let down I will use my mic after the ban cause I have to if I could replace it I would the show must go on by the way when I got ill i stood on stage in agony trying to work for 6 months before it was too much for me show must go on rehearsing again in my living room with mic in question may be last chance to use it.
Hi Karl Technically you could still use you system, and nobody would every know or care, lets face it it's only a 10 mw output you would be lucky to get outside of a normal building with that sort of power at UHF. I have 14 ULX Shures with 4 distribution amps with remote antennas and I can't scan a signal outside the building the problem would be interference from mobile broadband devices, regarding the cost of new equipment the point that a lot of people forget is the transmitter and receiver is only the means of get the audio signal from A-B it's the microphone that gives you the quality. You can still legally use you system till 2012 which according to the Maya calender it all comes to an end on the 21st December 2012, so does OFCOM know something we don't.I am looking at http://www.trantec.co.uk/html/p_UHF_Systems.htm they work at the new frequency and the transmitters/receivers are around half the price of Shure they can take my Shure WL50 Microphones which we have 20I have nothing against Shure, I have had this system for around 6 years it's never had a problem only artist/animals ripping the WL50 of f not leaving it to the microphone technician and hairdressers spraying hair spray into the microphones. Get well soonTS
What a ridiculous proposition- and its just so that the already rich mobile providers in the UK can get richer!
I will not give up using my expensive equipment there is enough adjustment to use it illegally and still avoid new owners stuff em I doubt I will ever get caught Its all rock and roll
It has taken years for our church drama group to save to buy radio mics. It's quite easy for the government to say "just throw them in the bin and buy new" It should be their problem to provide replacements, not ours.
I can't believe the government is supporting this, it's going to cause so many more problems than it supposedly fixes. Not happy about this at all!
Y.E.M. Theatre SchoolI am sure all Theatre schools, Rock Choirs, and many Musicians will be devastated with this news. We our selves have spent a lot of money on radio mikes and can ill afford to replace them. Most of our performances are for charity, and therefore we would find it very difficult to raise extra money for something we have already paid for. It seems to me this will be one more kick in the head for entertainment, amateur or professional alike
I am in the folk industry and playing regularly at festivals and clubs. Using a mobile system for my instruments is vital to my stage presentation and my existing equipment will suddenly become redundant at the whim of the government. disgraceful!!
Thank you very much. I am wonderring if i can share your article in the bookmarks of society，Then more friends can talk about this problem.