WASHINGTON Dec 11 Federal regulators on Tuesday
gave satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp the
go-ahead to use wireless spectrum and also approved a framework
for a spectrum auction next year.
The Federal Communications Commission voted to allow Dish to
convert satellite spectrum for wireless use but would impose
restrictions that the company opposes. Dish is the No. 2
satellite U.S. television provider after DirecTV.
Analysts have said that Dish could either sell the spectrum
or partner with another wireless company such as Sprint Nextel
if it plans to provide high-speed wireless services.
DISH said on Tuesday that it will "consider its strategic
options and the optimal approach to put this spectrum to use for
the benefit of consumers."
The five-member FCC commission also voted to approve a
framework for auctioning a different chunk of spectrum -- known
as the H block -- in 2013.
Sprint Nextel is known to be interested in the H block,
which is near the spectrum owned by Dish.
The two companies have been in a battle over the power
levels Dish should be allowed to use in a wireless network using
the spectrum since excessive power levels used in one spectrum
band can bleed into nearby spectrum and cause interference.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to testify on
Capitol Hill on Wednesday to discuss both of the items approved
on Tuesday as well as FCC plans for an auction of spectrum now
owned by broadcasters in 2014.
The chairman and other four commissioners appearing before
the House of Representatives subcommittee on communications and
technology are also expected to be asked about a proposal to
ease rules on media ownership to allow the same company to own a
television station and newspaper in the same market.