On Deck

with Anchor Audio

Q&A: FCC's Incentive Auction for the 600 MHz Frequency Band

Q&A with Nick Craig, Director of Sales 

How do you see this change affecting programs—whether choir or theatre or performing arts in general?

The FCC’s Incentive Auction for the 600 MHz frequency band will affect choir, theatre, and performing arts programs all the same in that it will make their wireless microphone and equipment that features wireless microphone receivers will soon become obsolete. In the near future, equipment operating in that spectrum will not only become congested and lack a clear signal, but it will also become illegal to operate in that spectrum. 

Essentially, their equipment may become unusable in terms of the wireless microphone transmitters and receivers. All of these programs rely on voice amplification for their rehearsals and performances as well as music at times. They rely on a reliable wireless connection with intelligible audio that does not have any interference for a flawless performance. The discontinuation of certain wireless microphones due to the FCC’s Auction will have a ripple affect across many different industries. It is important that consumers stay informed and ahead of the ball, especially if they have tight budgets. Create a list of priorities for equipment and purchase new (or used) equipment when the budget is open and ready.  

Does Anchor Audio offer a rebate program? If so, would you please explain how that works?

In response to the FCC’s Incentive Auction of the UHF spectrum, Anchor Audio is offering a 600 MHz Upgrade Program to help customers during this transitional period. The program offers customers the opportunity to upgrade their old Anchor Audio portable sound system operating on the 600 MHz band to the new AnchorLink wireless platform that operates on the digital 1.9 GHz frequency.

We wanted to provide a solution for our dealers and customers with systems that were affected by the 600 MHz auction, so the Upgrade Program was introduced to allow a simple upgrade of the internal components without the trouble of having to purchase a totally new system. We feel strongly that our customers should have the opportunity to use and enjoy their Anchor Audio portable sound systems for years to come. 

Customers have the opportunity to simply upgrade the wireless or add in additional features that their unit may not have had originally. The Anchor Audio 600 MHz Upgrade Program offers customers the opportunity to upgrade their eligible systems to a completely new electronic upgrade, which includes the dual wireless microphone receivers operating on the 1.9 GHz wireless frequency along with Lithium Ion batteries, improved Class 1 Bluetooth, and Anchor AIR transmitters that allow customers to wirelessly connect multiple units within a 300’ range without the hassle of cables. 

The upgrade program is available for Anchor Audio products that are still within the six-year warranty. This opportunity will be available to all customers with eligible systems for a limited time. For customers with products that are not eligible for the upgrade, Anchor Audio is offering a discounted price on new portable sound and public address systems.

Customers can contact Anchor Audio directly with their product’s serial number to determine their eligibility for the upgrade, or they can visit the Anchor Audio website at anchoraudio.com/wireless-upgrade.html 

What advice would you give for schools replacing equipment, depending on their budget restraints? Is there an order of importance for what to replace first?

For schools that are replacing equipment, I would recommend that they first take inventory of which equipment needs to be replaced and then look into which brands that you own are offering rebate, upgrade, or any other programs that will help the customer replace or upgrade their soon-to-be obsolete products. This is especially true for schools that have budget restraints.  Many manufacturers, such as Anchor Audio, are offering customers a solution and “way out” of the auction. 

It is also important to then look at the equipment that your school uses the most. Place priority on those units that are used the most frequently. Or determine if there are any units that can be replaced and used as a temporary audio solution across your campus during the transition. However, be sure to factor in the budget whether or not your equipment requires accessories such as wireless microphones. If you are looking to just replace equipment with an equivalent unit, be sure to do the research within your own campus and in the industry to determine if that is the best solution. Within your own campus, talk with colleagues to determine if the current solution fits all your needs and performs well. If not, now is your opportunity to do some research to find a better audio solution.