70,000 Starlink Users Bombard FCC With Messages to Reject Dish’s 5G 12GHz Plan


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

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

After one day, 3,000 Starlink users sent messages to the FCC, and since then, the agency’s filing system has logged tens of thousands of more messages from Starlink customers. Last Friday, the FCC’s online filing system showed 3,309 entries concerning Dish Network’s proposal; as of Tuesday morning, the filing system(Opens in a new window) contains 71,292 entries. 

The total results

The 71,292 entries in the FCC online filing system.
(FCC)

It’s unclear how many of the entries come from duplicate users. But the first 10,000 results in the filing system are full of messages from Starlink users calling on the FCC to reject Dish Network’s plan to use the 12GHz radio spectrum. PCMag tried to access messages beyond the 10,000 result threshold, but the FCC’s online system only gave us an error. 

Entry system


The FCC’s filing system can’t go beyond the 100th page when displaying the entries.

SpaceX’s online petition(Opens in a new window) is designed to send a pre-written message to both the FCC and US lawmakers about ending Dish Network’s proposal for the 12GHz radio spectrum. This makes it easy for Starlink’s user base in the US to shower the FCC with messages. But in some cases, numerous Starlink customers wrote custom messages on top of the pre-written script. 

“We recently got Starlink and for the first time since we bought our house 20 years ago we have good internet service,” wrote(Opens in a new window) a subscriber named Dave Michaels. “If this rule is accepted we will be forced back into paying more for a lower quality experience.”

“I can not do my current job without Starlink access,” wrote(Opens in a new window) another user named Karin Draughn. “I will be forced to move to another home or work from a Starbucks 30 min away if my connection is unstable.”

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

So far, Dish Network hasn’t responded to SpaceX’s petition. But the company is part of the 5G for 12GHz coalition, which argues Starlink can work(Opens in a new window) alongside a 12GHz 5G cellular service without any major interference. “The diverse Coalition urges the FCC to trust the science, which shows coexistence is feasible in expanding the use of the 12GHz band,” the coalition said a year ago, citing its own study(Opens in a new window) on the matter. 

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