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FCC chairman backs Dish Network wireless plan

updated 05:51 pm EST, Wed November 21, 2012

Dish unsatisfied with FCC's proposal, though

Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski proposed that the agency greenlight Dish Network's ongoing effort to move into providing wireless communications services. Genachowski expressed his support on the grounds that DIsh's entry into the wireless sector would stoke competition in a segment that, in the United States, is verging on duopoly. Dish Network executives, though, are unsatisfied with the FCC's current proposal for allowing them into the wireless arena, saying the FCC's plan would make it "extremely risky" for them to enter the sector.

Dish Network plans to deploy an LTE-Advanced network to cover 30 percent of the US population. The company is required to deploy that network to the 30 percent mark within three years, or by 2016, but Dish maintains that is unrealistic, as the network must undergo development, testing, certification, and deployment.

The Washington Post quotes an FCC official, who says that the agency's current plan could "promote competition, investment, and innovation, and advance commission efforts to unleash spectrum for mobile broadband to help meet skyrocketing consumer demand."

The agency's current plan calls for an auction of airwaves, with a portion reserved for emergency first-responders. The FCC is expected to vote on Dish's proposal before year's end.

Dish Network executives complain, though, that the FCC's current guidelines would have Dish restrained in how it could use its wireless spectrum. The agency would have Dish use lower power levels on its network in order to ensure they don't interfere with neighboring airwaves. According to Dish representatives, that would limit their ability to provide high-speed data for prospective customers.



By Electronista Staff
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