FCC Drops 'Interference Temperature' and Interference Susceptibility Proceedings

Many licensed spectrum users objected when the FCC released its Notice of Inquiry and Notice of Proposed Rule Making seeking comment on issues related to a spectrum management policy based on a new "interference temperature" model, instead of a transmitter operation model. At last week's open commission meeting, the FCC advised that they were terminating the interference temperature model proceeding due to lack of information from interested parties.

The commission said, "Further, with the passage of time, the Notice and the record in this proceeding have become outdated. We are therefore terminating this proceeding without prejudice to its substantive merits."

The order terminating the proceeding also noted "Commenting parties generally argued that the interference temperature approach is not a workable concept and would result in increased interference in the frequency bands where it would be used." Broadcasters were among those objecting.

The FCC also terminated the proceeding seeking information on whether it should use receiver interference performance specifications as part of its spectrum policy. As with the "interference temperature" proceeding, the FCC found "with the passage of time, the notice and record in this proceeding have become outdated. Further, to the extent receiver interference immunity performance specifications are desirable, they may be addressed in proceedings that are frequency band or service specific. As there does not appear to be a need for further commission action at this time, we are terminating this proceeding without prejudice to its substantive merits." The FCC welcomed comments on these issues in the context of other proceedings.

Commissioner Michael J. Copps had concerns about the FCC's termination of the interference temperature proceeding. "The interference temperature method of managing interference holds promise in improving the commission's ability to carry out its statutory duty to encourage more efficient uses of the radio spectrum," he said. "I believe that the record in this proceeding, as well as academic commentary, indicate that the commission's ongoing consideration of the issue would be useful." He added, "Today's item does not foreclose the commission from considering interference temperature, either in a particular band or generally, in a future NOI or NPRM."