More than 70,000 SpaceX subscribers contacted the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to reject a Dish Network proposal covering use of 12GHz radio spectrum as part of an ongoing regulatory dispute.

SpaceX called for some users of its Starlink broadband satellite service to file objections with the FCC and politicians on 28 June: as of today (5 July) some 71,292 messages had been sent to the regulator, some of which cited concerns over interference with broadband services in rural areas due to a lack of coverage by other providers.

Dish Network wants to use the 12GHz spectrum for its 5G network.

In a petition, SpaceX argued the operator’s plan would result in “harmful interference more than 77 per cent of the time and total outage of service 74 per cent of the time, rendering Starlink unusable for most”.

The FCC issued a notice asking for comments about how to best use the 12GHz band in early 2021.

Dish Network and RS Access, a company funded by Michael Dell’s investment business, argued their studies showed ground-based 5G networks could share the spectrum with low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite networks.

The FCC last week approved a Starlink request to use the 22GHz band to provide internet services on moving vehicles, ships and aeroplanes.