Dish Will Accept 5 MHz Guard Band Under Certain Circumstances

According to an FCC filing, Dish has told the FCC that it is
willing to accept an FCC proposal to set aside 5 MHz of its 20 MHz satellite spectrum
as a guard band if the FCC will let it use the remaining spectrum as swiftly
and as unencumbered as possible.

According to the filing, Dish chairman Charlie Ergen met in
person or via phone with all the FCC commissioners and many staffers last week.

He has argued that the 5 MHz guard band requirement would
wreak havoc with his business plan, which he has said is to create a 4G
wireless broadband service in competition with existing services, something the
FCC has been promoting.

But according to the filing, Dish is ready to accept the
guard band, which is meant to protect an adjacent spectrum band (the H block)
from interference, a band the FCC plans to auction for wireless broadband.

"Recognizing that the Commission desires to retain
flexibility in the future use of the H Block, Dish offered to voluntarily
designate the lowest 5 MHz of its uplink spectrum (2000-2005 MHz) as an
internal terrestrial guard band, provided that safeguards are adopted to ensure
that the remaining 15 MHz of its uplink spectrum (2005-2020 MHz) can be
utilized as fully and as quickly as possible for mobile broadband," Dish

At presstime, only commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel had
voted to approve the original proposal, so she would have to sign off on any

John Eggerton

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.