Efficient Interference Management: Regulation, Receivers, and Rights Enforcement

Tags: Technology Policy

Managing interference between operators is at the heart of wireless regulation. To date, national regulators have borne almost all of this burden. However, the increasing intensity of radio use is leading to more conflicts, particularly between different allocations. The resolution of cross-allocation interference problems will have to improve if the promise of wireless technology is to be realized.

This closed-door workshop convened a select group of experts from government, industry, academia and civil society to explore improving the management of radio interference from legal, economic and engineering perspectives. It is the latest step in a multi-year program on this topic organized by the Silicon Flatirons Center that began in September 2009 with a summit in Boulder on Defining Inter-Channel Operating Rules, and was followed by a conference in Washington, DC in November 2010 on New Approaches to Handling Wireless Interference (proceedings published in 9 J. on Telecomm. and High Tech. L. 501).

The previous meetings indicated that ambiguous rights definition and ineffective adjudication contributed to difficulties in resolving cross-allocation interference conflicts, leading to delay, uncertainty, and political gamesmanship. This roundtable set out to develop proposals for improved receiver management and more effective enforcement, and to seek consensus recommendations for changes in the regulatory framework that could achieve this. After a discussion of cases to identify lessons and pitfalls, participants explored the possibilities for policy reform.

A report by Madelaine Maior on the conclusions of this meeting can be found here.

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