FCC Weighing Whether to Award Dish's AWS-3 Discounts
Apr 29, 2015, 3:39 PM by Eric M. Zeman
The FCC today approved nine applications submitted for the AWS-3 spectrum auction, two of which belong to Dish designated entities Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless. The FCC said the applications are in their final form and are complete, but the FCC has not made a final decision about the bidding tactics used by Dish and whether or not the company deserves the 25% discount meant for small businesses. Rather than participate directly, Dish used a trio of small companies to make bids. The small companies should qualify for the discounts, but some think Dish's controlling stake in the companies negates their small stature. AT&T and Verizon have already complained vociferously about Dish's bidding tactics and the small business discount. Dish's total provisional winning bids total $13.3 billion. The discount would deduct $3 billion from that total. The FCC has decided to make the applications available to the public and open for comment. "The applications that seek small business bidding credits are the most complex, given that they detail the nature of the applicant’s ownership and control structure, and require the review of the related corporate agreements that in some cases consist of a highly complex set of rights and obligations, including agreements pertaining to equity ownership, funding, joint bidding, and management services," said Robert Sherman, chief of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau. "These are complex and important matters, and we have a long way to go in our review before we reach final conclusions on all of the applications." The public has until May 11 to file petitions to deny Dish the small business discounts.
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I have no problems that DISH took advantage of this... what I do have a problem with is that DISH will now own more spectrum that it won't use.