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Conference: Risk Assessment in Spectrum Policy

In judging whether to allocate new wireless services, government spectrum regulators like the FCC and NTIA have typically deferred to worst case arguments by incumbents. Such an approach has many flaws. First, there are many causes and consequences of RF interference, and representing them by single values for extreme cases isn't representative. Second, interference parameters take on a range of values, and a single-value analysis doesn't take the distribution of their probabilities into account. Third, a single value, worst case analysis is likely to be overly conservative, with the result that the full value of spectrum use rights is not realized. The alternative approach of quantitative risk assessment broadens regulatory analysis from just "What's the worst that can happen?" to "What can happen, how likely is it, and what are the consequences?" Such techniques have been used for decades by other regulators, including those responsible for safety-of-life decisions such as NRC, FDA and FAA. This conference will explore what lessons spectrum managers, especially regulators like the FCC and NTIA, can learn from the use of quantitative risk analysis in other regulated industries. It will also map out how risk-informed interference analysis should and could be used in spectrum policy going forward. The conference will be anchored by three keynote speeches by leading figures in risk assessment and spectrum policy, each followed by a moderated discussion and a closing keynote.

Event Details

CLE Credits
General: 0
Ethics: 0