News Articles

Another Folly Found

8/15/2008 08:00:00 PM Eastern

Editor: To your list of ways in which the FCC has sown regulatory uncertainty (“FCC's Follies,” Editorial, July 28) should be added its abysmal handling of rules for Access Broadband over Power Line systems. The rules that were rushed through in 2004 failed to protect licensed radio communication services, including broadcasters, from interference.

In its April 25, 2008, decision in American Radio Relay League, Incorporated v. FCC and USA (Case No. 06-1343), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that the commission had violated the Administrative Procedure Act and “summarily dismissed…empirical data that was submitted at its invitation.”

The court found that the FCC's Reconsideration Order “provides neither assurance that the commission considered the relevant factors nor a discernable path to which the court may defer.”

In his concurring opinion, Judge David S. Tatel wrote, “There is little doubt that the commission deliberately attempted” to exclude from the record evidence adverse to its position. The court remanded the rules and gave the FCC explicit instructions on what to do, but more than three months have passed without a sign of how and when the commission intends to correct its errors.

David Sumner, CEO
American Radio Relay League
Newington, Conn.
(ARRL is the national association for amateur radio)