FCC Circulates Item Allowing Dish to Deliver Terrestrial Cell Service
But sources say Dish would be responsible for preventing H band interference
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/20/2012 5:19:15 PM
That is the good news for Dish. The bad news is that if the item remains as drafted, Dish will be on the hook for making sure it does not interfere with users of the H Block, which the FCC will be auctioning per a second item the chairman also circulated Tuesday seeking comment on that auction.
There had been some question whether the onus would be on H Block users or AWS-4 users like Dish to guard against the interference.
As the item stands, according to an FCC source familiar with it, Dish would have to restrict power levels on the lower 5 MHz of its spectrum adjacent to the AWS-4 band.
Dish had initially sought an FCC waiver to use its AWS-4 spectrum, which it purchased out of bankruptcy from TerreStar and DBSD, for a hybrid terrestrial-satellite broadcast service, but the FCC put that on hold while it prepared the item loosening the satellite-only restrictions on the entire band.
Allowing for more terrestrial use of satellite spectrum has been an FCC goal as it promotes competition for wireless broadband. That was the motivation behind its efforts to allow LightSquared to use its satellite spectrum for terrestrial 4G service. That effort ran into interference issues with GPS, which is in an adjacent band.
An FCC spokesman confirmed that the items had been circulated.
"Chairman Julius Genachowski today shared proposals with his colleagues that will unleash up to 50MHz of spectrum for mobile broadband, including LTE. Specifically, the chairman proposes final action to enable terrestrial use for AWS-4 spectrum, and moves forward with implementation of Congressional direction to auction the H-block, slated for 2013. The H-block auction will yield the first significant auction revenues for FirstNet and deficit reduction. If approved, these actions will promote competition, investment and innovation, and advance Commission efforts to unleash spectrum for mobile broadband to help meet skyrocketing consumer demand, while unlocking billions of dollars of value to the public."
The H block auction was part of legislation creating the incentive spectrum auctions. FirstNet is the name given to the interoperable broadband communications network that the auction proceeds are meant to help fund.
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