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Dish to Senate: Block Broadband Access Consolidation

Dish is focusing on competition for broadband access in its comments for a July 16 Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the state of the video marketplace.

In written testimony for the hearing, Dish senior VP Jeffrey Blum says its satellite TV service can only be competitive with cable's TV Everywhere approach if its subs can also use a broadband connection, both for traditional video and to access services like VOD, Sling, apps and Internet-streamed programming.

"Allowing the broadband access market to consolidate down to a few powerful gatekeepers, each of which also has video services to sell, will hurt competition and consumers," he says.

He points out that Dish is planning to offer a lower-priced smaller package of OTT channels later this year, anchored by ESPN and Disney Channel.

Without that broadband capability, says Blum, it can't compete with Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Charter and others.

On that point, Blum echoes Dish's position that the FCC should reject the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable given its combined broadband connections.

"The combined companies would control more than 47% of all the residential high-speed broadband connections in America," says Blum, "and would pass more than 60% of homes in America."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.