Instances of Worst-Case Scenario Based Analysis Pushback by the FCC

11 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2015 Last revised: 12 Mar 2015

See all articles by Tyler Cox

Tyler Cox

University of Colorado Law School

Jean Pierre De Vries

University of Colorado at Boulder Law School - Silicon Flatirons Center

Date Written: March 5, 2015

Abstract

The FCC frequently uses worst-case scenario analysis as the basis for its decisions. However, there are instances where the FCC pushes back on these worst-case scenarios. In these instances, the FCC bases its decision on the practical realities of a situation and adopts a final decision that balances a range of factors implicated in the situation. This pushback occurred in a variety of contexts including dismissing concerns about out-of-band emissions in an advanced wireless services rule change, balancing daytime-only AM radio station post-sunset power limits with interference concerns, adopting a procedure for setting a separation distance that reflects practical interference concerns, developing realistic restrictions for UHF noise figure requirements, dismissing interference concerns around the use of ancillary terrestrial services by mobile satellite service providers, considering a waivers request by ultrawideband service providers, and refusing to act on unrealistic interference scenarios when considering whether to approve new satellite services. Two factors were present in each of these decisions. First, the worst-case scenario was implausible because it required several unlikely events to occur simultaneously. Second, if the worst-case scenario dictated the decision, the FCC would be required to adopt a conservative approach that overvalued one factor relative to other important factors in the decision mix. Where the FCC rejected worst-case driven decision-making, it adopted a final decision that balanced a range of pertinent factors.

Suggested Citation

Cox, Tyler and De Vries, Jean Pierre, Instances of Worst-Case Scenario Based Analysis Pushback by the FCC (March 5, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2559816 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2559816

Tyler Cox (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

Jean Pierre De Vries

University of Colorado at Boulder Law School - Silicon Flatirons Center ( email )

1070 Edinboro Drive
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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