Comments Off

DISH wants faster movement on AWS-4 rules

Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission gave notice of DISH Network Corporation’s (DISH) ex-parte meeting with some FCC staff members. DISH wanted to reiterate its position on the implementation of AWS-4 rules; arguing that it was urgent that the FCC provide the industry with some regulatory certainty given the billions of dollars DISH has invested in obtaining spectrum.

Specifically, DISH invested in obtaining 40MHz of spectrum in the S-band. The company is concerned that if the FCC allows a 5MHz upward shift in the 2000 to 2020 MHz range, DISH would face technical and regulatory obstacles that would negatively impact its ability to deploy facilities in the S-band.

According to DISH, “Specifically, a 5 MHz shift would disserve the public interest for at least the following reasons:

It would introduce substantial delay and risk into the standard-setting process, which in
turn would further delay – if not possibly scuttle – DISH’s planned deployment.2

It would significantly undermine the usefulness of DISH’s 2 GHz satellites by limiting
the spectrum available for mobile satellite service (“MSS”).

It would reduce the internationally harmonized spectrum to only 5 MHz in the uplink
band, limiting opportunities for global MSS roaming and global economies of scale.

It would expose AWS-4 base stations to potential interference from federal and Broadcast
Auxiliary Station (“BAS”) operations above 2025 MHz. “

You can read DISH’s ex-parte letter here.

Comments Off

Ergen Wants Spectrum Now, but I FCC’s Dilemma

DISH Network’s Charlie Ergen would like to see the Federal Communications Commission approve the use of the company’s satellite spectrum for terrestrial mobile broadband. Unfortunately the FCC is also considering rules for the use of satellite spectrum for the entire satellite sector.

I guess I can see the FCC’s dilemma. Cut DISH a waiver now, and the FCC would have to justify why other satellite company’s and wireless carriers couldn’t get the same exception. The rule would be gutted before it was even released in final form.

On the other hand, wait until a final rule is issued and add to the delay in getting spectrum into the hands of wireless carriers who need it in order to meet well documented consumer demand.

Hate to say it, but I have to side with the FCC on this one. Cutting DISH a waive now will only create regulatory gridlock down the road.