An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission sided with Starlink in a battle against Dish Network today, rejecting a Dish proposal that could have degraded Internet service for Starlink satellite users. In a 4-0 vote, the FCC decided not to authorize high-powered terrestrial mobile service in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band that is already used by Starlink customer terminals for downloads. The vote “ensure[s] the present and future of satellite services in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band. We recognize that millions of people rely on services in this band — and we want to see that continue,” FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said at today’s meeting. The band is also used for satellite TV.
In its announcement of the vote, the FCC said it “declin[ed] to authorize two-way, high-powered terrestrial mobile use due to a significant risk of harmful interference to existing and emergent services, particularly in the growing satellite broadband market.” Dish already uses spectrum from the 12.2-12.7 GHz band for satellite TV and wants to use the band for cellular service as well. While the FCC rejected the mobile proposal, it said it would investigate the potential to expand terrestrial fixed use or permit unlicensed use in that spectrum. Specifically, the FCC will seek comment on allowing point-to-point fixed links in 12.2-12.7 GHz at higher power levels than the current rules allow and on “adding indoor-only underlay and unlicensed use.” The agency also teed up a plan that could eventually allow mobile broadband in the adjacent 12.7-13.25 GHz band. “Thank you to the 100K+ Starlink customers who spoke up, the FCC voted to protect high-speed satellite Internet users from harmful interference,” Starlink wrote on Twitter today.