FCC Votes to Include Wireless Receiver Standards in Spectrum Policy

The FCC said a year ago it intended to take a fresh look at how it manages spectrum going forward, to promote efficient co-existence between incumbent and new services. Now it’s taken a step forward, voting on a policy statement that takes into consideration both the transmitter and, for the first time, receiver components of wireless systems.

It says the policy statement underscores the important role that improved receiver performance can play in promoting more efficient spectrum use and enabling new services to be introduced. The guidance will help inform future Commission actions concerning harmful interference and the responsibilities of both transmitters and receivers to mitigate interference. It will also guide further regulatory steps to ensure coexistence among services in increasingly congested spectrum bands. 

During the vote, FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington called the policy a commonsense approach for conducting spectrum management. “There’s much value in getting to a place where C-band altimeter conflicts are headed off at the pass. Not because the Commission is picking a side but because they are anticipating problems before they arise and guiding the industry in the right direction. This takes the first step and paves the way for the framework to accomplish this.”

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the agency now begins to rethink its approach and move beyond transmitters to consider receivers as well. “Receivers that are not sufficiently resilient can make it more difficult to introduce these services in the same or adjacent airways, diminishing the environment and shutting out new uses before they even begin. There is too little in our existing policies to recognize this fundamental truth.”

By Leslie Stimson, Inside Towers Washington Bureau Chief

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