SpaceX FCC battle with Dish, an affiliate of Michael Dell for broadband use

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk spoke about the MWC hybrid Keynote Starlink project during the second day of the Mobile World Congress on June 29, 2021 in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

Nurfoto | Nurfoto | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – of Elon Musk SpaceX on Tuesday stepped up the battle for broadband regulations with Dish Network and a subsidiary of billionaire Michael Dell, calling on the Federal Communications Commission to consider ongoing disputes over the use of broadband, which could disrupt Starlink’s satellite Internet network.

At the heart of the dispute is the use of the 12 GHz band, the frequency range used for broadband communications, and the frequency’s ability to support both terrestrial and space services.

In January 2021, the FCC issued a notice asking for comment on how best to use the 12 GHz band. Dish and RS Access, funded by investment firm Dell, has published studies claiming that terrestrial 5G networks can share frequency with low-Earth orbit satellite networks such as Starlink or OneWeb.

SpaceX submitted its own analysis of research on Dish and RS Access on Tuesday, claiming it was correcting what it called “some of the most unpleasant assumptions” in the reports, and claiming that Starlink users would see interference to the point of disrupting customer service “74% of the time. “

Musk’s company called on the FCC to “investigate whether DISH and RS Access have submitted deliberately misleading reports,” noting that the studies did not match Dish’s findings two years earlier, which called the use of sharing “unviable.” In response, a Dish spokesman told CNBC that the company “expert engineers appreciate SpaceX’s allegations in the submission.”

SpaceX is not the only one to oppose the potential expansion of the use of 12 GHz. Telecommunication companies, such as AT&Ttechnology giants Google and Microsoftas well as satellite operators such as Intelsat, OneWeb and SES, all commented to the FCC against the change.

Senior SpaceX officials told CNBC that the company hopes its response will prompt the FCC to reach a conclusion on the 12 GHz issue, describing the possibility of a solution in favor of Dish and RS Access as an unlikely but existential threat to the Starlink network.

“Leaving the procedure open can simply not be justified for political or technical reasons. For six years, the Commission has allowed this process to rot, with satellite operators forced to spend countless hours of engineering time responding to frivolous arguments from DISH and RS Access, “SpaceX Senior Director of Satellite Policy David Goldman wrote in a letter to the FCC on Tuesday.

SpaceX has launched about 2,700 Starlink satellites to date, with nearly 500,000 users and its production line producing about 30,000 satellite dishes per week.

The FCC has rejected a request from CNBC for comment on when it expects to issue a decision on the 12 GHz band.

Spectrum rights

Exhibition of Dish Networks at CES 2016 in Las Vegas.

Justin Solomon CNBC

Dish and RS Access lead a coalition of companies that hold 12 GHz terrestrial FCC licenses, with the pair representing the two largest holders in this spectrum range. While Dish is best known for providing satellite TV services, the company has acquired a wide range.

For years, Dish has said it will use its valuable rights to spectrum. Recently, with the FCC’s approaching deadline, Dish has deployed its 5G network, Project Genesis, which the company says meets government requirements to offer service to more than 20 percent of the U.S. population. It is disputed whether the Dish network really reaches this threshold, according to testing of The Verge’s service.

DISH has never fulfilled its repeated promises to deploy a new terrestrial network using the exclusive licenses already stored in its warehouses – the Commission simply cannot give more spectrum to any operator with this experience than unfulfilled promises and blocked users, “Goldman wrote in a letter from SpaceX to the FCC.

Dish did not immediately comment on the Project Genesis network in response to CNBC.

Dish has faced the effects of the FCC on spectrum rights before. In an unrelated ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday, a federal judge upheld an FCC ruling that Dish held “de facto control” over two other companies. Bloomberg announced. The agreement violated spectrum bidding rules by receiving $ 3.3 billion in bidding loans for small businesses, according to the report.

Read SpaceX’s letter to the FCC here.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.