Today CCIA filed Reply Comments with the FCC Thursday advocating that DISH Network be permitted to move forward with its planned launch of a nationwide wireless broadband network.
DISH’s planned terrestrial network will create meaningful, new competition in the ultra-concentrated wireless market and put 40 MHz of underutilized spectrum to use for wireless broadband services – helping the Commission move forward toward achieving goals set forth in the National Broadband Plan.
In both its 2010 and 2011 annual review of the wireless industry, the FCC was unable to make a finding that the market for wireless services is competitive. In fact, the data collected for the 2010 and 2011 studies show that the wireless industry is far from competitive, it’s actually highly concentrated. The results were hardly surprising given the high degree of consolidation over the past decade.
And even in a highly concentrated market, competition in the wireless industry is still under attack via AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile.
The FCC proclaims that it seeks to promote competition in the wireless industry, and the Chairman often speaks about the need for more spectrum to be deployed to support wireless broadband. DISH’s planned network presents an opportunity for the Commission to accomplish both tasks at once.
CCIA supports the Commission’s goals to increase wireless competition and expand the amount of spectrum dedicated for wireless broadband. And the Commission should move quickly to approve DISH’s plans to launch its nationwide network.
For months the FCC has been faced with Congressional inaction on spectrum auctions and with AT&T’s brazen attempt to further consolidate the wireless market. DISH’s plan is an opportunity to quickly and decisively advance its twin aims of greater competition and increasing the amount of spectrum for wireless broadband – without having to wait for Congressional approval or await a court decision to block AT&T.
The Commission should act now and approve DISH’s plan.