Ina Fried

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Dish Gets a Sprint Deal, Just Not the One It First Wanted

Months after failing in its effort to buy Sprint, Dish Networks announced a deal on Tuesday in which the two companies will partner to sell home broadband service using fixed wireless technology.

Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen

Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen

Initially the service will be offered in just one area — Corpus Christi, Texas — though there is a plan to expand to other areas if the trial goes well. Dish will install the service, using either a ruggedized outdoor router or an indoor one, with the service picking up a signal sent over the 2.5Ghz spectrum Sprint acquired from Clearwire. (Dish had also tried unsuccessfully to buy Clearwire.)

“With millions underserved by inadequate broadband, the potential to bring a high-speed fixed wireless solution is very compelling to both Dish and Sprint,” Dish Executive VP Tom Cullen said in a statement.

Sprint also seemed ready to let bygones be bygones. “This trial with Dish has great potential as it combines the key capabilities and assets of both companies to provide another option to customers with limited broadband access,” Sprint Senior VP Michael Schwartz said in a statement.

Though Dish lost out to SoftBank in the bidding war for Sprint, the deal shows the relatively few options companies often have in this area. The potential for greater combined efforts in the future would seem to still be there as Dish has lots of spectrum and will likely need a partner to help it take advantage of all of those airwaves.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work