Pierre de Vries is Co-Director of the Spectrum Policy Initiative at the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His current work focuses on maximizing the value of radio operation by managing potential and actual interference better, both before and after rulemaking. He is also Visiting Senior Scientist at the Institute for Networked Systems of RWTH Aachen University. He was a Technology Advisor to Harris Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, Washington DC (2007–2010) and Senior Fellow at the Annenberg Center for Communication of the University of Southern California (2006–2007). Prior to this he held various positions with Microsoft Corp. in Redmond, including Chief of Incubation, and Senior Director of Advanced Technology and Policy. (curriculum vitae, short bio).
Contact: pierredv at hotmail dotcom

Recent work (2013-17)

My paper "Risk-informed interference assessment: A quantitative basis for spectrum allocation decisions" was published online in Telecommunications Policy in January 2017 (   
Along with colleagues Jonathan Bair, Andrew Manley and Prof. Blake Reid of the Tech Law Clinic at CU Boulder, I've endorsed prior TAC recommendations that the FCC use waivers to pilot Risk-Informed Interference Assessment (RIA). Our filing uses three currently open waivers to explore how this might be done (December 9, 2016 filing, Clinic blog post).

My Fall 2016 conversation with Andrew Manley of 
Tech Law Clinic at CU Boulder is available (stream and downloads availble on web page).

My keynote on 15 September 2016 at the
GNU Radio Conference is up on Youtube. The speech is about 30 minutes, followed by audience discussion at timecode 32:00. A transcript is available (pdf).

The paper "
LTE in Unlicensed Bands is neither Friend nor Foe to Wi-Fi" with Ljiljana Simic, Andra Voicu, Petri Mahonen and Marina Petrova has been accepted for publication in IEEE Access ( A policy-oriented version was accepted for and presented at TPRC 2016 (
The FCC TAC paper "A Case Study of Risk-Informed Interference Assessment: MetSat/LTE Co-existence in 1695–1710 MHz" was published in December 2015 (, pdf); I was the author.

Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic (TLPC) and I filed reply comments (filing on ECFS; TLPC blog post in our petition for rulemaking (Docket No RM-11750) on December 11, 2015.
I organized a conference at Colorado Law on risk assessment in spectrum policy for Silicon Flatirons (event page; conference report) on October 23, 2015

I presented a paper on "
Risk-Informed Interference Assessment: A Quantitative Basis for Spectrum Allocation Decisions" at TPRC on September 26, 2015 (; slides via slideshare). 
I testified at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on “Wireless Broadband and the Future of Spectrum Policy" on July 30, 2015. My testimony is here. My remarks are at in the archived webcast, starting at 58:02; see also a question from Chairman Thune and my reply starting at 2:05:43.

I briefed the CSMAC (Commerce Spectrum Management Committee) on risk-informed interference analysis on 
May 12, 2015, see

PolicyTracker published an opinion piece on May 12, 2015 arguing for the use of quantitative risk assessment to complement worst case interference analysis (link - pay wall, copy available on request)

I co-filed a petition for rulemaking at the FCC with the 
Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic at the University of Colorado to request that a private party would be permitted to file a spectrum interference complaint against another private party directly with the FCC Office of Administrative Law Judges (FCC ECFS link posted 11 May 2015, TLPC link). The Commission invited comment on 11 June 2015 (notice,Docket No RM-11750)
The FCC Technological Advisory Council published "A Quick Introduction to Risk-Informed Interference Assessment" ( on 1 April 2015; I was the lead author.
Tyler Cox has posted two risk-related working papers to SSRN: "Instances of Worst-Case Scenario Based Analysis Pushback by the FCC" ( and "Piloting Risk-Informed Interference Assessment Using Waivers" ( I commissioned and supervised the work.

I have summarized my conclusions about risk assessment in spectrum policy in a short working paper, "
An Outline of Risk-Informed Interference Assessment" (

My paper
The Wi-Fi “congestion crisis”: Regulatory criteria for assessing spectrum congestion claims with Ljiljana Simić, Andreas Achtzehn, Marina Petrova, and Petri Mähönen was published in Telecom Policy on September 16, 2014 (
I had two papers at TPRC this year (September 13, 2014):
I filed comments on July 14, 2014 (corrected on July 29) and reply comments on August 15, 2014 on the FCC's Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the 3.5 GHz proceeding (WT Docket No. 12-354) .
Laura Littman and I wrote a working paper on "The Use of Statistical Risk Assessment by the FCC in Spectrum Regulation" (
An FCC TAC working group I participated in published a Recommended Charter entitled "Multi-stakeholder Organization to Develop Interference Limits Policieson June 17, 2014; the lead author was Doug Brake.
An FCC TAC working group I participated in published a White Paper entitled "Introduction to Interference Resolution, Enforcement and Radio Noise" on June 10, 2014; the lead author was Dale Hatfield.

I gave a talk ("Breaking the spell of Command and Control: Three spectrum reforms to maximize wireless value", video, slides, interview) at the Johannesberg Summit 2014 (program, YouTube channel) in Stockholm on 12 May 2014.
Phil Weiser and I presented a paper (pdf, web page; see for all resources) on "Unlocking Spectrum Value through Improved Allocation, Assignment and Adjudication of Spectrum Rights" at a Hamilton Project event at Brookings on 24 March 2014. Documents, briefs, backgrounders and video are available on the event page. My eight minute presentation of the ideas starts at 3:04 in the video; for a quick read, I recommend the policy brief (pdf). 
The FCC Technological Advisory Council published "Interference Limits Policy and Harm Claim Thresholds: An Introduction" (pdf) on 5 March 2014; I was the principal author.

"A Study on the Design Space for Harm Claim Thresholds" (pdf, DOI:10.4108/icst.crowncom.2014.255404), a paper with Janne Riihijarvi, Andreas Achtzehn and Petri Mahonen of the Institute for Networked Systems, RWTH Aachen University was presented at CrownCom 2014. It studies the statistics of data collected by drive tests to support the derivation of harm claim threshold levels.
Here's an introduction to harm claim thresholds and interference limits: (6 pages, first version January 2014).


I presented a paper on September 28, 2013 at TPRC41 with colleagues at RWTH Aachen ( about Wi-Fi congestion. Some replies to the resulting critique are at We found little hard engineering evidence in the literature that Wi-Fi congestion is a pervasive problem; and there are dueling anecdotes in the trade press. Defining congestion is problematic, and we propose criteria based on user experience and economic considerations to judge claims of congestion. We do not claim that the absence of evidence of congestion amounts to evidence for the absence of congestion. However, we question the argument that congestion occurring somewhere, sometimes is a justification for regulatory intervention.
My paper "Optimizing receiver performance using harm claim thresholds" has been published in Telecommunications Policy: It's part of the TPRC 2012 special issue.

The Wireless Spectrum Research and Development (WSRD) group held its Workshop IV at MIT on April 23-24, 2013. I participated in a panel 2.3; my slides are online (pdf) and my presentation starts at time code 0:50 in the webcast.

I filed reply comments on the 3550-3650 MHz NPRM (proceeding 12-354) on 5 April 2013.

I filed comments on the FCC's proposed new rules for the 3550-3650 MHz band (proceeding 12-354) on 20 February 2013. For a summary, see this blog post.

The FCC TAC white paper "Interference Limits Policy: The use of harm claim thresholds to improve the interference tolerance of wireless systems"  (Version 1.0, February 6, 2013; pdf) has been published on the TAC web site. The paper was written by the TAC's Receivers and Spectrum Working Group; I was the principal author. The FCC published a public notice requesting comment on this report on April 22, 2013 (document DA 13-801, ET Docket No. 13-101).

Earlier work (2005-2012)

TPRC board member (2013-)
TPRC program committee chair (2011, 2012)
DySPAN 2011 policy program committee co-chair
Northwest Vipassana Association board member (2010-2014), treasurer (2012-2014)
Bread for the World board member (2004-2010)
Seattle Center on Contemporary Art board member, treasurer (approx. 1999-2002)