Starlink can’t rely on a barrage of government subsidies to expand its satellite internet service. The FCC has declined the SpaceX entity’s offer to receive $885.5 million in aid through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. The broadband provider “has not demonstrated” that it can provide the claimed service, according to a statement.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said Starlink “shows real promise” but suggested her agency couldn’t justify 10 years of subsidies for “developing technology” that requires a $600 satellite dish. She added that the FCC needs to make the most of “scarce” funding for broadband rollout.
SpaceX won its bid through an auction in December 2020. At that time it was said that the subsidies would serve 35 locations. It also promised pricing in sync with terrestrial broadband and that it would meet the requirements for “periodic” service build-out.
LTD Broadband, a wireline provider, netted over $1.3 billion at this auction and also lost its bid today. That company is not “reasonably able” to provide the required internet service after losing qualifying status in seven states, the FCC said.
We reached out to SpaceX for comment. The rejection isn’t a fatal blow to the company’s plans, but it does make it clear that Starlink will need its own funding if it wants to expand as planned in 2020. The FCC’s move could also serve as a warning to other interested parties. be a beneficiary. While the Commission is striving to improve rural broadband connections, it will not hand out any money to internet providers without a thorough scrutiny.
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https://www.engadget.com/fcc-rejects-spacex-starlink-rural-broad-band-funds-194352343.html?src=rss FCC rejects Starlink request for nearly $900 million in broadband subsidies