December 6, 2023

A SpaceX petition to protest against the Dish Network resulted in 70,000 Starlink users bombarding the FCC with letters urging the US regulator to protect the satellite internet system.

A week ago, SpaceX began recruiting users to sign the online petition, which claims that Dish Network’s proposal to use the 12GHz radio spectrum for a 5G cellular network threatens to make Starlink “unusable” across the United States.

A day later, 3,000 Starlink users sent messages to the FCC, and since then the agency’s filing system has recorded tens of thousands more messages from Starlink customers. Last Friday, the FCC’s online filing system showed 3,309 entries related to the Dish Network proposal. As of Tuesday morning deposit system(Opens in a new window) It contains 71,292 entries.

The 71,292 entries are in the FCC Online File System. (FCC)

It is unclear how many entries are coming from duplicate users. But the first 10,000 results in the file system are littered with letters from Starlink users asking the FCC to reject the Dish Network’s plan to use the 12GHz radio spectrum. PCMag tried to access messages that exceed the 10,000 result limit, but the online FCC system just gave us an error.

Entry system

The FCC filing system cannot exceed page 100 when viewing entries.

SpaceX online petition(Opens in a new window) It is designed to send a pre-written message to both the FCC and US lawmakers about ending the Dish Network’s proposal for the 12GHz radio spectrum. This makes it easier for Starlink’s user base in the US to flood the FCC with messages. But in some cases, many Starlink customers have written personalized messages over the pre-written text.

“We recently acquired Starlink and for the first time since we bought our house 20 years ago, we have good internet,” Wrote(Opens in a new window) Subscriber named Dave Michaels. “If this rule is accepted, we will have to pay more for a lower quality experience.”

“I can’t do my current job without access to Starlink,” Wrote(Opens in a new window) Another user named Karin Draughn. “I’ll have to move to another house or work from a Starbucks 30 minutes away if the connection is unstable.”

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According to SpaceX, the Dish Network’s 5G 12GHz plan risks undermining Starlink because the satellite internet service also relies on 12GHz spectrum to power high-speed downloads.

So far, Dish Network has not responded to SpaceX’s petition. But the company is part of the 5G alliance for 12GHz, which argues that Starlink can work(Opens in a new window) Coupled with 12GHz 5GHz cellular service without any major interference. “The diverse coalition urges the FCC to trust the science, showing that coexistence is possible in expanding use of the 12GHz band, the coalition said a year ago, citing its own band study(Opens in a new window) In this regard.

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