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Cable Technology Feature Article

March 14, 2012

Dish Network Acquires Two New Broadband Assets to Give it More Edge in the Market

By Miguel Leiva-Gomez, TMCnet Contributor

Satellite company Dish Network Corp. has announced its acquisition of two satellite operators to extend its broadband solutions. The operators’ licenses and wireless technology can be put to use in broadband services, giving Dish an edge over other cable TV and phone providers.

Until now, most cable and phone providers offered their customers deals that include television service and Internet access. Satellite is a bummer, though, when you have to provide Internet. A shared distributed network between many different home subscribers can be difficult to handle when the signal travels several miles into space before being beamed back to Earth. This causes frequent latency issues and makes for many connectivity and speed problems.

Dish circumvents this issue by adding cell towers to its network through the two satellite providers that it bought. The cell towers will relay a high-speed Internet connection much more competitive than what satellite Internet currently offers.

DBSD North America Inc. and TerreStar (News - Alert) Networks Inc. are two perfect examples of satellite providers that take advantage of cellular wireless technology with radio spectrum.

Of course, Dish had to go to the Federal Communications Commission to get an approval of wireless license transfer, which it got earlier this month. The problem, however, is that the FCC (News - Alert) put a delay on any decision regarding Dish Network’s expansion of its radio spectrum space to extend better broadband offers to its customers. At this moment, anyone using the spectrum has to connect through satellite vis-a-vis.

While the FCC fights to allow more companies to increase their wireless broadband capacity, this isn’t the first time it’s put aside a request to use parts of the spectrum. A while ago, the FCC refused a proposal from LightSquared (News - Alert) on grounds that it might interfere with navigational systems for low-flying aircraft and GPS systems. Dish, like LightSquared, claims that it isn’t going to cause any harm to the spectrum, saying that the network will operate on a different frequency.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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