FCC, Dish Spar Over Dish LTE Plans
FCC Insists Dish Plan Would Imperil H Block
by Karl Bode 08:33AM Wednesday Nov 28 2012 Tipped by Dude
Dish and the FCC are engaged in continued public fisticuffs over the FCC's plan to allow Dish to build an LTE network -- with serious conditions. As we noted last week
, the FCC appears poised to grant Dish waivers that would allow Dish to use AWS-4 spectrum for LTE -- without having to adhere to spectrum conditions requiring the build out of satellite phone service. However, the FCC says they may impose power limits on the lower end of Dish's spectrum to prevent interference with the H Block.
Dish has spent the week complaining about the move, issuing a press release
saying the "flawed" plan could delay the network build and risk job creation:
“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 FCC has yet to release (or even vote on) the full plan, so full details aren't available -- but the agency did a little sniping of their own via Bloomberg
"In arguing that the commission should destroy the value of the H block, Dish is seeking to take a public asset potentially worth billions of dollars and turn it into a private windfall,” Justin Cole, an FCC spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.
Rumblings among lobbying folks I talk to suggests that after keeping T-Mobile alive by blocking the AT&T deal, and the creation of a stronger Sprint by the acquisition by SoftBank, the FCC feels there's now plenty of wireless competition -- so they can push hard here to maximize the money made by government off of this spectrum. FCC boss Julius Genachowski clearly wants his legacy to be "the guy who saved wireless from the spectrum crisis," even if it's becoming increasingly clear that there was never much of a crisis. There's also continued belief in some quarters that Dish may be lying about their LTE interests simply to jack up their spectrum value -- before just selling it to AT&T.