Dish Network is stepping up to the plate to help make sure U.S. consumers continue to receive reliable wireless connectivity during the coronavirus crisis.
The company, a leading provider of satellite and streaming video services as well as owner of strategic spectrum portfolio, recently announced it is lending swaths of its spectrum to major telecom companies at no cost for two months.
Dish will provide portions of its wireless spectrum portfolio to T-Mobile and AT&T amid the COVID-19 outbreak, which has forced the widespread closure of businesses, schools and other large gatherings nationwide.
Additionally, two companies that Dish is invested in — Northstar Wireless LLC and SNR Wireless LicensceCo — will lend spectrum to Verizon in the AWS-3 band for 60 days of operation. The FCC has granted Verizon’s request for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to use additional spectrum, as it did similar requests from AT&T and T-Mobile.
Unprecedented Reliance on Wireless Connectivity
The closures have led to a mass of Americans working and schooling from home, necessitating network providers’ ability to deliver reliable wireless connectivity so people can stay productive and entertained as they shelter at home.
“Dish is proud to support Americans’ personal and professional connectivity needs during this challenging time,” says Jeff Blum, Dish’s SVP of public policy and government affairs.
“As we take this step, we’d like to thank the FCC for their leadership on the technological needs arising as a result of the virus, including the increased need for broadband access to help consumers respond to the impact of COVID-19 on daily life.”
Dish initially announced it would be providing its entire portfolio of 600MHz spectrum at no cost for 60 days. The company followed up that move by offering 20MHz of AWS-4 (Band 66) and all of its 700MHz spectrum to AT&T also for two months.
“Enhancing our nation’s wireless networks helps give Americans the bandwidth they need to work, learn, and check-in on loved ones, and is especially crucial for those customers without access to other sources of broadband,” Blum says.