Pierre de Vries researches the intersection of information technology and government policy. His current work focuses on maximizing the value of radio operation by improving the resolution of interference conflicts. Previous projects have included regulatory paradigms for the internet/web, alternative conceptual models for wireless policy, spectrum allocation in the TV white spaces, and the impact of intangibility on decision-making in the digital world. (curriculum vitae, short bio).
Contact: pierredv at hotmail dotcom

Recent work

Phil Weiser and I presented a paper (pdf, web page) 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). 
Here's an introduction to harm claim thresholds and interference limits: (6 pages, first version January 2014).

I presented a paper on Septermber 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).

A paper on regulation, efficiency metrics and the design space of wireless systems that I wrote with colleagues at RWTH Aachen has been published in the December 2012 issue of IEEE Communications Magazine:

On November 29, 2012 I testified at the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s sub-committee on Communications and Technology hearing on the topic “The Role of Receivers in a Spectrum Scarce World.” I blogged a summary of my testimony; see also the written testimony (pdf), video of my oral testimony and video of the the members' questions. Some press here and here.

I organized a conference for Silicon Flatirons in DC on spectrum policy on November 13, 2012. The program and position papers are available on the event page.

A paper I wrote with colleagues at RWTH Aachen about the relationship between engineering practice and technology policy  was presented at TPRC 2012. The paper is at, and the slides at A version of this work was published in the December 2012 issue of IEEE Communications Magazine:

My current take on interference limits is written up as a paper for TPRC 2012, delivered on Septermber 22nd, 2012. The paper is available on SSRN, The slide deck I used is at (An updated and streamlined version is at

The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released its report Realizing the Full Potential of Government-Held Spectrum to Spur Economic Growth on July 20, 2012 (PDF, Administration’s blog post, webcast). The report recommends that interference limits are used to include receiver considerations in spectrum management. (I was an advisor to the PCAST committee that wrote this report.)

A comment on the FCC's AWS-4 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (WT Docket No. 12-70), making the case for interference limits and their application in this proceeding: PDF

I made a presentation and participated in a panel at the FCC Workshop on Spectrum Efficiency and Receivers on March 12-13, 2012 (Public Notice PDF). My presentation is at My presentation is on the day 2 video starting at time code 36:00 (there is also video for day 1); my opening comments on the subsequent panel are at 86:00, and various times subsequently.

An evolving summary of my proposal on receiver protection limits is available via (first posted 26 January 2012). My thinking started to crystallize in June 2011; the root blog entry has a constantly updated list of subsequent posts. (A more recent document provides an introduction to harm claim thresholds, the current incarnation of receiver protection limits:

A report by Madelaine Maior (10 January 2012, PDF) has been published on the Silicon Flatirons roundtable I organized on Efficient Interference Management: Regulation, Receivers, and Rights Enforcement on 18 October, 2011.

Reception-oriented radio rights: Increasing the value of wireless by explicitly defining and delegating radio operating rights is now in press (Telecommunications Policy, January 2012,

Earlier work (2005-2011)

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

pierredv tweets

The gadget spec URL could not be found