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HomeAviationStarlink Misses Out on $886 Million in Subsidies for Rural Broadband.

Starlink Misses Out on $886 Million in Subsidies for Rural Broadband.

Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that it will not grant Elon Musk’s Starlink an $886 million Universal Access Fund subsidy to expand broadband access in rural areas. The FCC states that Starlink was unable to “demonstrate that it could deliver the promised service” and that providing the subsidy to it would not be “the best use of limited Universal Service Fund dollars.” The funds were to have come from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund program (RDOF).

This appeal resulted from the FCC’s rejection of Starlink’s bid last year for the same reason. Previously, SpaceX had won the proposal to provide “low-latency internet to 642,925 locations in 35 states,” with funding from the RDOF, at a speed of 100 Mbps for download and 20 Mbps for upload.

According to FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, “the FCC is tasked with ensuring consumers everywhere have access to high-speed broadband that is reliable and affordable.” “For nearly a decade, this applicant had not met its burden to be entitled to nearly $900 million in universal service funds.” Dissident FCC commissioner Brendan Carr stated in his letter that “no other award winner has ever been required by the FCC to demonstrate that it fulfilled its service obligation years in advance.”

Granting free access to locally managed internet service.

Christopher Cardaci, SpaceX’s legal head, asserts in a letter to the FCC that Starlink stands as potentially the sole feasible choice to promptly link numerous rural and remote-dwelling Americans. These individuals have experienced inconsistent, expensive, or entirely absent high-speed, low-latency internet—the exact demographic the RDOF initiative aimed to serve.

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