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Dish aims to offer broadband service

Associated Press / August 24, 2011

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NEW YORK - The satellite TV broadcaster Dish Network Corp. wants to build a wireless broadband network to help it compete more effectively with cable TV and phone companies.

Its rivals bundle TV signals with Internet services. Satellite companies can’t do so as well; satellites can’t provide Internet services to many households, and speeds are slower.

Late Monday, Dish asked the Federal Communications Commission to let it use the wireless spectrum of satellite company TerreStar Corp., which it bought last year out of bankruptcy, for ground-based broadband.

Dish did not say when it would build the network or how many people it would cover. It plans to use a network technology for which devices could show up in 2014. It said tablet computers would be one possible category.

LightSquared is also trying to repurpose satellite spectrum for broadband. That has run up against concerns its signals will interfere with GPS navigation.

Dish, said its signals, on different frequencies, won’t cause such interference.