Dish Network Says FCC Proposed Ruling Would “Cripple” Its Wireless Plans

The public still doesn’t know much about what Dish Network plans to do with the wireless spectrum it has spent about $3B to amass. But a proposed order circulating at the FCC could introduce “serious limitations that impair its utility,” the satellite company’s general counsel R. Stanton Dodge says. The good news for Dish is that the order would allow the company to use its spectrum for a terrestrial service, something it wants so it can offer wireless phone or broadband. But there’s a hassle involving Sprint. It owns some spectrum that’s adjacent to the swath that Dish bought. The wireless phone company says that it can use its airwaves for LTE broadband if regulators move the Dish frequencies and control the company’s transmission power. But that “could cripple our ability to enter the business,” Dodge says. The company might petition the FCC to reopen a rulemaking proceeding for its spectrum and “may have to put on hold activities like radio design and network build out.” Dish says that a more lenient approach to its airwaves “will lead to more investment, more jobs, more competition and more spectrum for wireless consumers.”

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