Saturday, June 13, 2015

Principles for interference assessment and receiver protection in FCC rulemakings

A key consideration in spectrum policy, particularly the allocation of new services, is the protection of existing services against harmful interference. However, regulators take an ad hoc approach to defining harmful interference. We would be better served if everyone knew, up-front, the principles a regulator was going to use when making decisions about a new allocation.

Julie Knapp’s comment at a recent FCC TAC meeting have inspired me to sketch out some principles/guidelines/framework for the FCC when looking at protecting services during rulemakings. Julie pointed out that the TAC Spectrum and Receivers Working Group now has an opportunity to synthesize and make actionable our work of the last few years.

(Update: The FCC TAC adopted "Basic Principles for Assessing Compatibility of New Spectrum Allocations" [pdf] at its meeting on December 9, 2015. I participated in drafting this document, and I'm delighted that it aligns well with the principles I outlined here.)