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Dish Disses FCC AWS-4 Proposal

Dish network called a just-circulated FCC draft proposal for freeing up AWS-4 wireless spectrum for terrestrial use "significantly flawed."

Responding to "reported accounts," including in B&C/Multi, that the proposal would put limitations on Dish's use of its 40 MHz of that spectrum, the company said that those lmitations on its power and emissions would "cripple" its ability to do 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 Stanton Dodge, Dish executive VP and general counsel. "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."

An FCC source said they expected there would be enough votes to pass the draft.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Tuesday released both an item allowing for terrestrial use of Dish's spectrum, and one seeking comment on auction of the currently unused H Block spectrum. It is required to auction that spectrum by the legislation creating the spectrum incentive auctions. Funds from that H Block sale will fund the creation of an interoperable broadb and communications network, which was also in the legislation.

According to sources, the AWS-4 item requires Dish to take steps to mitigate interference with potential jusers of the H block, which is in an adjacent band.

Dish says that if it has to render some of its spectrum unusable to accommodate "possible future use of neighboring H Block spectrum by Sprint," it could add years to the process of launching a wireless business and delay the investment, jobs and broadband buildout the FCC is trying to promote by loosening satellite spectrum rules.

"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% of its uplink capacity," said Dodge.