In a regulatory filing, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has challenged the Federal Communications Commission’s rejection of US$885.5 million in subsidies for rural broadband networks.
It has called the action flawed and grossly unfair, and accused the FCC of miscalculating Starlink, a fast-growing network of more than 3,000 satellites in low-Earth orbit and tens of thousands of users in the United States who pay at least US$599 for a user terminal and US$110 a month for service.
The FCC last month rejected applications from SpaceX, the owners of Starlink and LTD Broadband, for funds granted in 2020 under the commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.
The fund initially approved more than US$5 billion in funding to primarily provide gigabit broadband services to more than 3 million sites in 47 states.
SpaceX was supposed to receive US$885.5 million of that funding to beam satellite internet in U.S. regions with few to no internet connections and provide 100/20 Mbps service to 642,925 locations in 35 states.
As a result, David Goldman, senior director of satellite policy at SpaceX, wrote in the appeal that the decision appeared to have been made in the service of a clear bias toward fiber, rather than a merit-based decision to actually connect Americans with almost no access to internet.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.