Dish Network’s designated entities (DE), Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless, surrendered 197 spectrum licenses to the government, following a ruling by the FCC which found them inelligible for the $3.3 billion in small-business discounts they received in the AWS-3 auction.
According to a statement on the Dish’s website, the DEs paid a $413 million fee for defaulting on the licenses.
After return of the licenses, Dish Network’s affiliates will have acquired a total of 505 AWS-3 licenses worth about $10 billion. The returned licenses will be re-auctioned after the broadcast incentive auction, which is slated for early 2016.
R. Stanton Dodge, the company’s executive vice president and general counsel, confirmed in a statement that Northstar and SNR had returned the licenses.
Broken out, Northstar Wireless is expected to be granted licenses with aggregate gross winning bids of $5.62 billion, covering approximately 3.7 billion MHz-POPs. The licenses retained by the FCC have aggregate gross winning bids of $2.2 billion and cover approximately 690 million MHz-POPs. Northstar Wireless is expected to maintain 84 percent of the original MHz-POPs.
SNR Wireless is expected to be granted licenses with aggregate gross winning bids of $4.27 billion, covering approximately 2.9 billion MHz-POPs. The licenses retained by the FCC have aggregate gross winning bids of $1.2 billion and cover approximately 629 million MHz-POPs. SNR Wireless is expected to maintain 82 percent of the original MHz-POPs.
In all, Dish and its DEs are expected to have an average of approximately 75 MHz of spectrum nationwide, covering over 23 billion MHz-POPs.
“DISH appreciates the diligent efforts of the FCC staff, and particularly the efforts of the Wireless Bureau, in working with DISH, Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless regarding these arrangements,” Dodge wrote.
Todays announcement by Dish brings to an end a decision by the FCC to negate the auction discounts Dish received through its DEs. The FCC has since adopted new rules to fix the loophole that allowed for larger companies like Dish to obtain discounts by setting up smaller companies to do their bidding.
Filed Under: Telecommunications (Spectrum)