Dish Network Hit With Historic Fine Over Space Debris

October 03, 2023

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a $150,000 fine against Dish Network for failing to properly dispose of its broadcast communications satellite, leading to an increase in orbital debris. “This is a breakthrough settlement, making very clear the FCC has strong enforcement authority and capability to enforce its vitally important space debris rules,” FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan Egal said in an emailed statement. AdvertisementAccording to its orbital debris mitigation plan, Dish was supposed to bring down its EchoStar-7 satellite to an altitude of around 186 miles (300 kilometers) above its operational geostationary orbit. Advertisement AdvertisementThe FCC licenses radio frequencies used by satellites and ensures that satellite operators properly handle their defunct satellite debris. The FCC’s recent fine on Dish Network should serve as a big wake-up call to satellite providers when it comes to their actions—or inactions—in space.