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jfmg / arqiva contacting venues and hire companies


andylouder

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Oh yes...

 

Hi there,

 

Am enquiring as to whether or not you are using any of the following equipment as part of the production setup under the XXXXXXX Company: a wireless microphone, an In-Ear Monitoring system, a talk-back (walkie-talkies) system, radio mics, a wireless camera, audio links, video links, or an Audio Distribution System (ADS).

 

I work for JFMG who are under contract from Ofcom (Office of Communications) and if any of the shows/productions do plan to use the equipment mentioned above then you will need to obtain a licence from us as it is a legal requirement. Or do you leave it up to the visiting company who are bringing any equipment in to make sure they have the correct licence?

 

The easiest way to get a licence is to purchase a ‘UK Wireless Microphone Licence’ from our website (www.jfmg.co.uk) at the cost of £75.00 for one year or £135.00 for two years. Click on the ‘Online Licensing’ tab at the top of the page and register as a new user. This licence allows you to use equipment on the shared ‘Channel 38’ licence in the 606.500 to 613.500MHz frequency range and will cover you to use In-Ear Monitoring equipment, talk-back systems, radio mics, and any wireless microphones. This licence is particularly useful for people who need to use their equipment all over the UK.

 

Alternatively, you can purchase a ‘Standard Licence’ which provides users with access to frequencies which they can specify within a location or area. We check the availability of requested frequencies within the vicinity prior to licence issue to ensure that no one else is using the same or similar frequency. This provides licensees with exclusive access, reducing the risk of interference. Licences can be issued on a 48 hour basis or up to one year and are particularly useful for fixed site users who require reliable high-quality operation. This licence can only be obtained by downloading one of the relevant application forms on our website via the ‘How to Apply’ tab and e-mailing it to us.

 

If your venue does not currently use any wireless equipment or you do in fact already have a licence and I just completely missed it then please let me know so I can update our records.

 

If you require further information then e-mail us at: admin@jfmg.co.uk or call us on: 0207 299 8660.

 

Thanks for your time and please do get in touch if you require any assistance.

 

Regards,

 

What they fail to mention are the licence free channels. Anyone would think they were trying to scare people into buying an unnecessary licence.

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Brian , was this a recent communication , our query was more personalised to our venue manager asking specifically about our ( horrid/cheapy ) pro-sound/kam units, which they could have got details of us using from our website/tech-spec.
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Brian , was this a recent communication ...

Sent 22nd November this year to a local drama group at their contact email address, presumably gleaned from their website. The XXXXX in my quoted email was to hide the name of the recipient group.

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This is what happens when the powers that be farm out licensing to a private company. The company in question's first loyalty is to it's profits and the concept of fair play comes in a distant last http://www.blue-room.org.uk/public/style_emoticons/default/mad.gif
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So what are the license-free frequencies these days?

 

And if someone was to buy a one-year site licence for channel 38, would JFMG then refuse to sell another one to someone next door if they asked for one? Or would they sell a second one anyway and leave it to the two licence-holders to fight it out? In other words, does a ch38 site license give you exclusive use of those frequencies at your site? And how does touring work - does a company touring with radio mics have to license separately for each venue?

 

I used to grasp how it all worked, but I'm a lampy rather than a noise boy and I don't really understand the situation since the 'big switch' to ch38.

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So what are the license-free frequencies these days?

 

863.0 - 865.0 MHz is license exempt and you can generally get 4 mics in to it or 6 if they are all Sennheiser G3 or other manufacturer that specifically engineers their mics to cram more than 4 into this band.

 

And if someone was to buy a one-year site licence for channel 38, would JFMG then refuse to sell another one to someone next door if they asked for one?

 

Channel 38 is uncoordinated. Which means the license covers you to use the mics anywhere in the UK, you can even delegate the license to someone you've hired the mics to.

 

There are adjacent co-ordinated bands which work in the way you describe that JFMG will only license one site in a particular area. Most mics sold for channel 38 can generally also tune to the adjacent co-ordinated channels in 39,40,41 and 42.

 

It's bordering on reasonable to assume that a license is required as virtually no systems will tune to both channel 38 and channel 70 (any systems that do exist would be hideously expensive) and a large amount of the channel 70 capable gear was surrendered for compensation when the switch over happened. So it's likely that any kit that people have bought or have hired requires licensed frequencies.

 

However it's unreasonable to assume that the venue itself must need a license if people hire stuff and bring it in infrequently it's a better idea from venue management point of view to require proof that the visiting company have adequate licenses or delegation.

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It's bordering on reasonable to assume that a license is required as ..... a large amount of the channel 70 capable gear was surrendered for compensation when the switch over happened....

 

Perhaps for 'law abiding' venues... but there must be thousands of clubs, churches and individuals who bought "channel 70" systems, plugged them in and used them straight out of the box (where they defaulted to something around channel 67) and haven't changed them since. They've never heard of JFMG, never bought a licence, never needed to retune. If they ever did buy a channel 38 radio, nothing forces them to buy a licence or stay within channel 38?

 

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Perhaps for 'law abiding' venues... but there must be thousands of clubs, churches and individuals who bought "channel 70" systems, plugged them in and used them straight out of the box (where they defaulted to something around channel 67) and haven't changed them since. They've never heard of JFMG, never bought a licence, never needed to retune. If they ever did buy a channel 38 radio, nothing forces them to buy a licence or stay within channel 38?

 

Perhaps but such venues or individuals aren't going to be reached by this sort of communication from JFMG. Unless you have some kind of heavy handed scheme where you must register and buy a license first before you are even allowed to buy radio equipment then I don't see any way of solving the issue.

 

To be honest I really don't see the point in the license for the uncoordinated spectrum at all it's just make work and it might as well be license exempt. Obviously there is point in licenses for the coordinated spectrum.

 

There is also the curve ball of the telcos hating PMSE with a passion due to them having to pay through the nose for spectrum where as large amounts of prime spectrum from their point of view is wasted on spectrum inefficient, from their point of view, UHF radio mic systems.

 

Having a foot in both camps I have no sympathy with the position of highest bidder wins for spectrum as it precludes social uses, however it's high time that PMSE made far more efficient use of the spectrum available but this is sadly down to no established audio companies wanting to take the plunge on doing it, or doing it at a resonable price, and sound engineers being a conservative lot.

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I wondered whether the new approach from JFMG would see the "small fry" being targeted in the same way that PRS seem to hunt down every hairdressing salon and doctors surgery that has radio 2 playing in the background. It would be pretty easy to get the addresses for each of the UK's 37,500 churches and scare them into buying a licence they don't need!
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Easy for me to say, I know, because I'm semi retired and no longer in the UK, but...

 

I for one am happy to see them becoming more proactive about enforcing the law. I paid my licence fees (Channel 69 every year then plus frequent forays into temporary licences for Channel 67) and deeply resented the number of companies and individuals who simply ignored the law and tuned to whatever channel they could get a signal on.

 

Perhaps their letter should mention that there are a few free frequencies on Channel 70 (plus the VHF ones) with an "any interference from other users is your problem" disclaimer but, were I still in the UK, I'd be happy to see them protecting the interests of those who follow the rules.

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I have also noticed , when I checked today , that there is currently no proper information or frequency chart showing legal free and license paid frequencies for use in the uk on the JFMG website( which arqiva links to )merely a disclaimer saying if you have any queries get in touch with us.

 

Unless I was being stupid and could not find the frequency chart/ guide.

 

I am pretty sure there was a chart a few months ago.

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Perhaps but such venues or individuals aren't going to be reached by this sort of communication from JFMG.

 

Except the email I quoted above was sent to a local amdram group with no fixed venue. They can only have been contacted as a result of trawling the web looking for keywords, probably 'panto' in this instance.

 

I wondered whether the new approach from JFMG would see the "small fry" being targeted...

 

Looks like you are right Simon.

 

In the instance above, the group have a switched-on sound person (who copied me the email) who knows all about what is needed and who has a licence for when they take kit into a venue, so they were able to steer the group right. Less fortunate groups will likely just pay up.

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