DISH Responds to Accounts of Proposed FCC Order on Wireless
Calls draft "significantly flawed"; could add years of delay to
network build out
FCC plan would take a quarter of DISH uplink spectrum to favor
incumbent Sprint; no net spectrum gain, hurts competition and jobs
Urges FCC to adopt power and emissions levels as it originally
With appropriate rules, DISH ready to invest billions, trigger tens
of thousands of jobs
ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
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
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
NO NET SPECTRUM GAIN FOR CONSUMERS
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
"Sprint's position on the H Block would render useless 25 percent of
DISH's uplink spectrum — so that Sprint is positioned to merely gain the
exact same amount of spectrum," said Dodge. "This is a zero-sum approach
that does not result in a net spectrum gain for the American consumer
when the wireless economy needs access to all available spectrum. Nor
does this approach add jobs."
POSSIBLE DELAYS IN INVESTMENT, JOBS, BUILD OUT
The Sprint plan embodied in the proposed order would likely force a
reopening of the standards-setting process led by the Third Generation
Partnership Project. Without 3GPP approval, wireless companies do not
have the required technical blueprints needed to design and build
everything from cellphone chipsets to broadband networks.
"If the FCC adopts this draft, the 3GPP specification will likely be
reopened and an FCC rulemaking will be needed for the H Block," said
Dodge. "Until we know how to manage issues like interference from the H
Block, we may have to put on hold activities like radio design and
network build out while we wait for the H Block rulemaking and another
3GPP process to be completed."
DISH expects new approvals could add years to a process that has
already lasted 20 months since it acquired two bankrupt companies in an
effort to bring this spectrum to the market. This 40 MHz of spectrum
remains on the sidelines.
FCC PRECEDENT GOOD FOR ALL PARTIES AND CONSUMERS
"DISH's position is consistent with more than 20 years of FCC precedent.
The AWS-4 rulemaking should be completed with the power and emissions
levels that were recommended by the FCC in its April Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (NPRM) and supported by most commenters (with the notable
exception of Sprint), and which would not require DISH to effectively
surrender 25 percent of its uplink capacity.
"The H Block should be subject to the same auction and rulemaking
processes that have applied to other spectrum bands for decades," said
Dodge. This approach will ultimately free up the H Block for its
highest-and-best use based upon input from all interested parties, and
will lead to more investment, more jobs, more competition and more
spectrum for wireless consumers."
DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), through its subsidiary DISH
Network L.L.C., provides approximately 14.042 million satellite TV
customers, as of Sept. 30, 2012, with the highest quality programming
and technology with the most choices at the best value, including HD
Free for Life. Subscribers enjoy the largest high definition line-up
with more than 200 national HD channels, the most international
channels, and award-winning HD and DVR technology. DISH Network
Corporation's subsidiary, Blockbuster L.L.C., delivers family
entertainment to millions of customers around the world. DISH Network
Corporation is a Fortune 200 company. Visit www.dish.com.
Bob Toevs, 303-723-2010
News Provided by Acquire Media