SpaceX Starlink Nets $900 Million in Government Subsidies for Rural Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission awarded Elon Musk’s SpaceX with almost $900 million worth of federal subsidies to support rural broadband customers through the company’s Starlink satellite internet network on Tuesday.

The Federal Communications Commission awarded Elon Musk’s SpaceX with almost $900 million worth of federal subsidies to support rural broadband customers through the company’s Starlink satellite internet network on Tuesday.

SpaceX won $885 million in the agency’s $9.2 billion auction, or about a tenth of the funds awarded to 180 companies. 

The so-called “Phase I action” of the Federal Communications Commission’s $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunities Fund, the subsidies are designed to be an incentive for broadband providers to bring service to the hard-to-reach regions of the United States.

The agency said that the subsidies will “be distributed over the next 10 years,” in the form of “equal monthly payments” – so long as each provider “meets all deployment milestones” for bringing broadband service to the areas bid and won.

“Funds will be distributed when applicants complete the long form application process and are authorized to receive support,” the agency’s spokesperson Anne Veigle said in a statement.


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