Elon Musk’s Starlink Loses $886M Subsidy to Expand Rural Internet Access

In a reversal of a 2020 decision, the Federal Communications Commission has decided to reject Starlink’s application for a $886 million in subsidies to expand rural broadband coverage. Starlink “failed to meet program requirements” and the program was too risky, the commission said in a release Wednesday.

“Starlink’s technology has real promise, but the question before us was whether to publicly subsidize its still developing technology for consumer broadband—which requires that users purchase a $600 dish-with nearly $900 million in universal service funds until 2032,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica. Rosenworcel.

Another applicant, LTD Broadband, also lost its subsidy of $1.3 million.

Starlink delivers internet access via its fleet of more than 2,000 low-orbit satellites, meaning it beam internet access down to its satellite dishes, even in rural places without access to ground-laid internet. It’s not the only satellite internet provider available, but it is the fastest according to the internet service analysts at Ookla.

earlier this year, Starlink’s prices increased. Customers pay a one time equipment fee of $599 for the Starlink satellite dish and the internet connection costs $110 per month.

SpaceX, Starlink’s parent company, didn’t immediately return request for comment.

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