Starlink gets a Congressional backer in its fight with DISH over terrestrial 5G interference
After SpaceX tried to rally petition support for its fight with aspiring 5G carrier DISH over the 12 GHz spectrum band, its Starlink satellite Internet service has now received a solid backing by a Florida Congresswoman in the form of a letter penned to the FCC. SpaceX argues that if DISH uses the 12 GHz spectrum to share satellite frequencies with its budding 5G terrestrial network, Starlink's Internet will become virtually "unusable" on account of frequent interference.
Florida congresswoman Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) has now sent an exhaustive explanation to the FCC supporting the Elon Musk company claim, but citing SpaceX's own research on the matter. DISH, on the other hand, has filed a self-serving study of its own with the FCC, where scientists argue that the worries about interference are completely overblown.
While it's up to the FCC to ultimately decide the fate of 5G on the 12 GHz bands, it already granted an Earth-station-in-motion (ESIM) permission for Starlink to be used on moving boats, planes, RVs, or cars with the caveat that SpaceX has to be willing to "accept any interference received from current and future services authorized."
This obviously includes the 5G network that DISH is rolling out and this is why SpaceX is trying to influence the FCC by other means like urging Starlink users to sign a petition, or coaxing members of Congress to lobby on its behalf.
Congresswoman Cammack argues that thousands of her constituents in rural areas who rely on Starlink for their Internet would be affected and, furthermore, any possible interference would be detrimental to the FCC's goal of serving rural communities with fast broadband Internet.