As Dish Network keeping trying to break into the wireless industry, today it announced a smaller but significant in-road. Dish and regional carrier nTelos have begun looking into co-developing a fixed-mobile broadband service inside of nTelos’ coverage area including Virginia, West Virginia and portions of Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Kentucky.

The proposed service would bring broadband to unserved and underserved rural communities.

In a statement, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said the proposed deal could “serve as a model for how we can utilize spectrum more effectively while creating differentiated consumer offerings.”

Dish last year earned FCC approval to deploy a terrestrial network on its 2 GHz spectrum but has yet to find a willing infrastructure partner to help it set up shop.

Dish sent a $25.5 billion merger offer to Sprint that has begun to pick up traction with Sprint and its shareholders. But Sprint is still on track to complete a competing acquisition deal with SoftBank by July 1.

In regards to its Sprint bid, Dish has touted its ground installation service as a tool for boosting wireless coverage in underserved areas.

nTelos in March announced its plans to LTE service in its coverage area by the end of 2013.