FCC offers $886 million to SpaceX for the satellite internet networks


The Federal Communications Commission has announced $9.2 billion in funding to businesses that offer broadband internet to remote communities throughout the United States. One of the largest recipients was SpaceX under Elon Musk. Under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund of the Federal Communication Commission, the organization will earn $886 million within the next ten years for the Starlink satellite broadband network.

Starlink is the constellation of SpaceX satellites that will travel across the World at low altitudes, supplying the below-ground internet. 900 of the expected 12,000 satellites required for the Starlink system have already been deployed into the low-Earth orbit by SpaceX. Musk stated the organization requires 800 space satellites to have “major strategic capabilities.” After launching a private beta over the summer, SpaceX started its Better Than Nothing Beta for the Starlink broadband in the month of October.

LTD Broadband will receive $1.3 billion, Charter Communications, which will receive $1.2 billion, and the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium, which is receiving $1.1 billion, were other major winners in the FCC auction. In the United States, between 24, as well as 163 million people lack broadband internet service, as well as the crisis in rural areas is extremely acute. To address the so-called “digital divide,” a new Biden government is projected to expand federal broadband expenditure in 2021.

In a tweet, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated, “I’m delighted with the enormous success of this entire auction that provides good news to thousands of unconnected rural Americans whom for too long been on the opposite side of the digital divide. They now hope to benefit access to the highest speed as well as high-quality broadband service.”

Depending on the kind of broadband infrastructure, FCC financing will be used in various ways. The capital is typically used by cable operators such as Charter as well as other wireline providers to extend their networks into emerging businesses that do not currently have broadband. However, with Starlink, if it has deployed enough satellites, SpaceX could offer coverage to all  rural America without even FCC financing. One idea is that in 642,925 funded areas, SpaceX can use the FCC funding to reduce costs, although the FCC statement didn’t specify whether SpaceX would do that. Starlink is now in beta and charges $99 every month, including a $499 one-time charge for the user terminal, tripod mounting, as well as router.

In the first phase of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction of FCC, 180 businesses won a portion of $9.2 billion winnable. The funding would help provide internet speeds of a minimum of 100/20 megabits for every second to many other rural areas — more than 85 percent with gigabit speeds.