DISH is responding to news today that the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) has circulated a proposed order related to rules that would, once approved by the full Commission, govern 40 MHz of broadband-ready AWS-4 wireless spectrum controlled by DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH).
“While the FCC’s proposed order, based on reported accounts, does properly address some of the opportunities with this spectrum, it’s significantly flawed by introducing serious limitations that impair its utility,” said R. Stanton Dodge, DISH executive vice president and general counsel. “While the FCC would grant full terrestrial rights, its proposal to lower our power and emissions levels could cripple our ability to enter the business.
“The good news is that this proposed order is not final and we urge Chairman Genachowski and the Commissioners to recognize that the DISH plan delivers on the greatest public interest – the most investment, the most jobs and the most spectrum,” said Dodge. “We stand ready to work with the full Commission on final rules that put the full AWS-4 spectrum to work for America and that advance the future potential of the H Block.”
DISH has declared its intent to launch a wireless business assuming the FCC delivers rules making it economically and technically feasible to do so. The company expects to invest billions and trigger tens of thousands of jobs to create a wireless broadband network that would power a variety of mobile and fixed devices, including smartphones, tablets and computers.
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In the draft order, the FCC appears to back a proposal, advanced solely by Sprint, calling on DISH to disable 25 percent of its uplink spectrum and impair another 25 percent of that spectrum to accommodate possible future use of neighboring H Block spectrum by Sprint.
The FCC does not currently license H Block spectrum, and that spectrum is unused today. Sprint, which controls more than 200 MHz of wireless spectrum, has expressed interest in acquiring rights to the 5 MHz H Block.