2022 Spectrum Policy Initiative Conference

Tags: Initiatives / Spectrum Policy / Tech Policy / Technology Policy / Telecom & Platforms

Resolving Interference Conflicts among “Highest and Best” Uses of the Radio Spectrum

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Radio spectrum allocation and policy battles often result in extended and recurring fights among competing, incompatible uses and users. Stakeholders employ all sorts of tactics to demonstrate to policymakers how their service or technology reflects the “highest and best” use of scarce spectrum resources whether such uses are, to name a few, for: commercial mobile and fixed wireless broadband services (licensed and unlicensed); national security and defense; public safety and law enforcement; global satellite communications; or scientific purposes. A frequent area of dispute often centers around allegations of “harmful interference” between competing new and incumbent uses. Many of these allegations point to faulty, inefficient, or unregulated receiver technology as a core problem. Others blame ineffective domestic and international institutional and governance regimes for making sound spectrum policy decisions.

In light of a new FCC inquiry into receiver performance (driven in part by prior Silicon Flatiron efforts) and national headlines surrounding such allegations involving, for example, interference between existing aircraft radar altimeters and new 5G services in “C-Band” spectrum, the conference will explore the policy, legal, institutional, technical, economic, and social conflicts that may arise when multiple interests collide over access to spectrum resources. Keynote speeches, panel discussions, and breakout sessions will produce a lively, professional debate among key experts and stakeholders that have been on the front lines of these spectrum battlefields and the quest for improved receiver performance.

On March 21, 2022, Silicon Flatirons convened an invitation-only roundtable in Washington DC to discuss the state of interference resolution policy, identify areas for attention, and suggest possible solutions. The roundtable report identifies several key themes and findings from the discussions that inform our agenda. Following up on the roundtable discussion, the fall spectrum conference will take a deeper dive into the prevalent tensions that characterize interference disputes, how they came about, why they have been exacerbated, what could have been done to prevent them, what technologies or standards may help resolve recurring issues, and what realistic and actionable solutions should be pursued.

*Breakout sessions will not be livestreamed, as participants will agree to candidly engage under the “Chatham House Rule”. Media are welcome to attend breakout sessions in-person, however all comments made by participants during said sessions will be considered off the record.


10/06/22 11:45am - 12:00pm
Pre-Conference Primer: Lunch

@ Wolf Law, Room 206

Light lunch from Nopalito’s provided for registrants, courtesy of Silicon Flatirons. Grab a bite on your way into room 206.

10/06/22 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Pre-Conference Primer: Spectrum Sharing and Interference Resolution

@ Wolf Law Building, Room 206

  • Dale Hatfield — Presenter
    Spectrum Policy Initiative Co-director and Distinguished Advisor, Silicon Flatirons
  • David Reed — Presenter
    Senior Fellow, Spectrum Policy Initiative, Silicon Flatirons
10/07/22 9:00am - 9:10am
Day One Welcome & Introduction

@ Wolf Law Building, Wittemyer Courtroom

  • Keith Gremban
    Spectrum Policy Initiative Co-director, Silicon Flatirons
10/07/22 9:10am - 9:45am
  • Austin Bonner
    Assistant Director for Spectrum & Telecom Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
10/07/22 9:45am - 10:00am

10/07/22 10:00am - 11:00am
Root Causes of Interference Conflicts
  • David Redl — Moderator
    Founder and CEO, Salt Point Strategies
  • Jordan Gerth — Panelist
    Honorary Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Greg Guice — Panelist
    Director of Government Affairs, Public Knowledge
  • Tom Power — Panelist
    Senior VP/General Counsel, CTIA
  • Jennifer Warren — Panelist
    Vice President, Civil & Regulatory Affairs, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Panelists will focus on common triggers and pervasive issues from policy, legal, institutional, and societal perspectives, including discussions of topics such as (a) the history and purpose behind the dual framework for spectrum management in the U.S., (b) recent and ongoing interference disputes, (c) outcomes and potential resolutions, and (d) other ways of addressing the root causes of such conflicts including policy options related to receiver performance concerns.

10/07/22 11:00am - 11:15am

10/07/22 11:15am - 12:15pm
Technical, Economic and Regulatory Solutions to Interference Conflicts
  • Nick Laneman — Moderator
    Center Director, SpectrumX
  • Albin Gasiewski — Panelist
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Derek Khlopin — Panelist
    Deputy Associate Administrator for Spectrum Planning and Policy Office of Spectrum Management (OSM), National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Office of Spectrum Management
  • Jennifer A. Manner — Panelist
    Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, EchoStar Corporation
  • Melissa Midzor — Panelist
    National Advanced Spectrum and Communications Test Network (NASCTN) Program Manager | Division Chief, Spectrum Technology & Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Panelists will delve into proposed engineering, market-oriented, and regulatory options for resolving recurring disputes and discuss topics such as (a) identifying and improving availability of timely and relevant technical information, (b) ensuring scientific integrity and use of good engineering practices, (c) assessing costs and benefits of technical standards and other options related to receiver performance, (d) exploring negotiated approaches and bargaining opportunities, and (e) other ways of developing acceptable interference protection criteria and compatibility assessments.

10/07/22 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Lunch Break

A catered lunch will be provided onsite for registered attendees and speakers.

10/07/22 1:15pm - 2:45pm
Breakout Sessions

After lunch, two concurrent breakout discussions will take place, giving interested and informed community members and experts in the spectrum policy space a fuller opportunity to *candidly engage (under the “Chatham House Rule”) and develop recommended actionable solutions. The discussions will be facilitated by panel moderators David Redl and Nick Laneman, with assistance from CU students and Silicon Flatirons fellows.

*Breakout sessions will not be livestreamed. Attendees and media are welcome to attend breakout sessions in-person, however all comments made by participants during said sessions will be considered off the record.
10/07/22 2:45pm - 3:00pm

10/07/22 3:00pm - 4:30pm
Breakout Sessions (continued)

Continuation of two breakout sessions.

10/08/22 9:00am - 9:10am
Day Two Welcome & Introduction

@ Wolf Law Building, Wittemyer Courtroom

  • Keith Gremban
    Spectrum Policy Initiative Co-director, Silicon Flatirons
10/08/22 9:10am - 9:45am
Day Two Keynote
  • Thomas Rondeau
    Principle Director for FutureG/5G, United States Department of Defense, Office of the Under the Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering
10/08/22 9:45am - 10:00am

10/08/22 10:00am - 11:00am
Recommendations Outbriefs
  • Peter Tenhula — Moderator
    Senior Fellow, Spectrum Policy Initiative, Silicon Flatirons
  • Nick Laneman — Presenter
    Center Director, SpectrumX
  • David Redl — Presenter
    Founder and CEO, Salt Point Strategies

The two breakout group facilitators from day one (with assistance from their student rapporteurs) will report out from the breakout sessions on the 2–3 recommended actions or next steps that their groups developed.

10/08/22 11:00am - 11:15am

10/08/22 11:15am - 12:15pm
Conference Wrap-Up
  • Anna Gomez — Moderator
  • David Goldman — Panelist
    Director of Satellite Policy, SpaceX
  • Julius Knapp — Panelist
    Former Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology (retired), Federal Communications Commission
  • Paul Kolodzy — Panelist
    Independent Telecommunications Consultant, Kolodzy Consulting
  • Jonathan Williams — Panelist
    Program Director, Electromagnetic Spectrum Management, Astronomical Sciences Division, National Science Foundation (NSF)

Closing session of the conference. The participants from the day one breakout sessions and the two breakout facilitators will react, respond, expand upon, clarify, dissent from, and/or comment on the suggested recommendations presented during the previous panel.

10/08/22 12:15pm
Thank You and Closing
  • Keith Gremban
    Spectrum Policy Initiative Co-director, Silicon Flatirons
10/08/22 12:15pm
To Go Lunch

Boxed/to go lunch will be available for registered attendees and speakers to take upon leaving Wolf Law.

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