The FCC rejects Starlink’s $885M internet proposal because its speeds are too slow


The FCC rejected a proposal from Starlink, a subsidiary of Elon Musk’s SpaceX (opens in new tab), which would have given the company nearly $1 billion in subsidies for offering broadband internet services to rural areas in the United States from the RDOF (Rural Digital Opportunity Fund).

The official FCC (opens in new tab) statement (via Slashgear (opens in new tab)) says that Starlink’s technology “has real promise,” but ultimately that the US government cannot “afford to subsidize ventures that are not delivering the promised speeds or are not likely to meet program requirements.”

The RDOF (opens in new tab) (Rural Digital Opportunity Fund) is a $20 billion fund that started in 2020 for constructing broadband networks in rural areas across the US. Companies bid to secure the funding with the caveat that they need to prove they can provide internet at the speeds they promised. SpaceX had won its bid for $883 million to provide rural broadband via its Starlink satellite internet service.