This article is from the Digital Broadcast Satellites FAQ, by Brian Trosko email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
No. DSS and Dish Network receivers are intended to be hooked
into a phone jack, but this does not necessitate a dedicated line;
the receiver hooks into a jack just like an extension phone would.
This is intended for several purposes.
The first purpose is impulse pay-per-view. In this system, you do
not need to pick up phone and call to order a PPV event. Instead,
you simply select the event you want to watch, and a menu screen
appears by which you can order the program. If you do, then
that fact is recorded by your system. Every so often, the system
will use the phone line to dial out and place a toll-free call
to your program provider, and download the PPV information to them.
This allows them to bill you correctly.
The second purpose is for compliance with professional sports
blackout restrictions. In order to know which games must be
blacked out for each individual, your program provider needs to
where you live. It does this by the ANI information which is part
of all toll free calls. ANI is not Caller ID, and cannot be
blocked in the same fashion.
Neither of these purposes make the phone connection a necessity.
If you do not hook your system to a phone line, then you will
not be able to order the sports packages. Also, you can still
order PPV events over the phone with DSS, but there will be a 2 dollar
surcharge per event.
Note that if you have multiple receivers, all receivers
must be hooked into the same phone line. If they are not,
you will pay full programming costs for each separate receiver.