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Watchdog Groups Seek Conditions on Dish Waiver Watchdog Groups Seek Conditions on Dish Waiver

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Watchdog Groups Seek Conditions on Dish Waiver

Consumer groups have asked the FCC to prevent Dish Network from flipping spectrum over to telecom giants AT&T and Verizon.

The Consumers Union, the New America Foundation and Public Knowledge asked that any new license granted to the Dish Network to operate a mobile network should come with conditions to prevent the satellite provider from flipping the spectrum.

Their joint Federal Communications Commission filing dated Thursday, asks the FCC to impose "unjust enrichment penalties" if Dish looks to sell spectrum to AT&T or Verizon.

The groups argue that any license transfer to "the emerging wireless duopoly would be worse than the status quo for consumers, competitors and innovators."

The satellite company wants a waiver to use its 40 megahertz of satellite spectrum to offer land-based mobile service to its subscribers under its own brand. In March, the FCC issued a notice that proposed to smooth the way for Dish.

The deal is similar to the waiver sought by LightSquared that the FCC eventually blocked because of concerns over interference with global positioning system signals.

The three groups also want the FCC to specifically approve any plan to allot more than a quarter of capacity to a single carrier, make it possible for other firms to use the spectrum until Dish rolls out a mobile network and leave half of the bandwidth open for leasing by competitor carriers.

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