Instances of Worst-Case Scenario Based Analysis Pushback by the FCC
11 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2015 Last revised: 12 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 5, 2015
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: Suggested Citation