The Federal Communications Commission has rejected applications from Starlink and LTD Broadband for more than US$2 billion in internet subsidies.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel acknowledged that “Starlink’s technology has real promise,” but the company’s request was rejected by the agency. According to the FCC, the two companies did not provide adequate answers to questions and are unable to meet the commission requirements.
The agency noted that Starlink asked for financial support to provide 100/20 Mbps services at 642,925 locations in 35 states. However, FCC data showed that Starlink’s speeds had fallen between the last quarter of 2021 and the second quarter of 2022, and its upload speeds had fallen below 20 Mbps.
“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 network. We cannot afford to subsidize ventures that are not delivering the promised speeds or are not likely to meet program requirements,” Rosenworcel said.
LTD said it was “extremely disappointed” with the decision.
“I don’t believe the FCC fully appreciated the benefits LTD Broadband would bring to hundreds of thousands of rural Americans. We are continuing to review the letter and are evaluating our next steps,” said Corey Hauer, the company’s CEO.
The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.