SpaceX Loses $886 Million in FCC Subsidies for Starlink Internet

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has dropped Elon Musk’s SpaceX from receiving nearly $900 million in subsidies for its Starlink satellite internet.

The FCC said on Wednesday SpaceX “failed to meet program requirements”, along with another company LTD Broadband, deeming both as “risky projects” and providers unable to deliver the promised service.

“After careful legal, technical, and policy review, we are rejecting these applications. Consumers deserve reliable and affordable high-speed broadband,” said Chairwoman Rosenworcel, in a statement. “We must put scarce universal service dollars to their best possible use as we move into a digital future that demands ever more powerful and faster networks. We cannot afford to subsidize ventures that are not delivering the promised speeds or are not likely to meet program requirements.”

“Starlink’s technology has real promise,” added Rosenworcel. “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.”

“The Commission determined that these applications failed to demonstrate that the providers could deliver the promised service. Funding these vast proposed networks would not be the best use of limited Universal Service Fund dollars to bring broadband to unserved areas across the United States, the Commission concluded,” said the FCC.

Back in December 2020, SpaceX won $885,509,638.40 in federal subsidies, while LTD Broadband won $1,320,920,718.60. Both applicants now see their federal subsidies rejected.

Despite the FCC rejecting SpaceX Starlink, earlier today we told you the U.S. Air Force has embraced the satellite internet service, investing $1.9 million into the offering.