The US Federal Communications Commission (FFC) has announced that Elon Musk's SpaceX will not receive the nearly
$900 million in subsidies expected for its Starlink satellite internet project. The decision comes at a bad time for the billionaire.
The US wanted high-speed internet distributed throughout the countryside, but Starlink "has failed to demonstrate that it can deliver the promised service," said Jessica Rosenworcel, chairman of the FCC.
"Starlink's technology is really promising. But the question before us was whether to publicly subsidize its still-developing technology
for consumer broadband - which requires users to buy a $600 dish - with nearly $900 million in universal service funds through 2032," Jessica added.
The deal-breaker was delivered by former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai under the Trump administration in 2020. The commission delivered approximately
$9 billion in funding to 180 broadband providers as part of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, though critics accused Pai of mismanaging the auction and directing funds to the wrong areas.
However, SpaceX requested an increase that was denied, this request consisted of $1 billion, the largest portion intended to bring broadband
service to 642,925 locations in 35 states. With the rejection of the request, SpaceX was left with a large hole in efforts to launch its global internet service.