The Federal Communications Commission announced late on Tuesday that it had approved DISH Network's plan to use satellite spectrum for a new cellular network.
The order, which was approved unanimously, doesn't give DISH everything it wants. The FCC voted to require DISH to restrict the use of some of its airwaves so it doesn't interfere with other companies that are using neighboring spectrum.
The move does, however, go toward the FCC's goal of freeing up more spectrum for mobile broadband.
"These actions will help meet skyrocketing consumer demand and promote private investment, innovation, and competition, while unlocking billions of dollars of value," FCC officials said in a statement.
The FCC also said that commissioners had voted to solicit public comment on a proposal to auction off vacant airwaves, known as the H-block. That proposal comes as part of the commission's plan to provide more wireless spectrum, as well as to raise money for a public emergency communications network.
All five commissioners will testify about the ongoing spectrum auction effort at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday.
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