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Starlink loses out on $886 million in rural broadband subsidies

A picture of the US Capitol stylized with rings around the dome.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The FCC announced today that it won’t award Elon Musk’s Starlink an $886 million subsidy from the Universal Service Fund for expanding broadband service in rural areas. The money would have come from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund program (RDOF), but the FCC writes that Starlink wasn’t able to “demonstrate that it could deliver the promised service” and that giving the subsidy to it wouldn’t be “the best use of limited Universal Service Fund dollars.”

That was the same reason the FCC gave when it rejected Starlink’s bid last year, which led to this appeal. SpaceX had previously won the bidding to roll out 100Mbps download and 20Mbps upload “low-latency internet to 642,925 locations in 35 states,” funded by the RDOF.

“The FCC is…

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