SpaceX Getting $885.5 Million from FCC for Starlink Rural High Speed Internet

The US Federal Communications Commission awarded SpaceX $885.5 million worth of federal subsidies to provide Starlink broadband internet to rural communities across 35 U.S. states. SpaceX is one out of 180 companies to receive funding from the Phase 1 auction.

SpaceX won about 9% of the $9.2 billion in funds given to 180 companies in the FCC’s “Phase I auction”. The subsidies are an incentive for broadband providers to bring service to the “unserved” and hard-to-reach areas of the United States.

The subsidies will given in equal monthly payments over the next 10 years if all deployment milestones are met. Winning providers must meet periodic buildout requirements that will require them to reach all assigned locations by the end of the sixth year, and are incentivized to build out to all locations as fast as possible.

The Phase II auction will have a $11.2 budget that will target partially-served areas.

LTD Broadband, Charter Communications and Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium won more in total contract values, with $1.3 billion, $1.2 billion, and $1.1 billion awarded, respectively.

The bidders won funding to deploy high-speed broadband to over 5.2 million unserved homes and businesses, almost 99% of the locations available in the auction. Moreover, 99.7% of these locations will be receiving broadband with speeds of at least 100/20 Mbps, with an overwhelming majority (over 85%) getting gigabit-speed broadband.

Phase II will cover locations in census blocks that are partially served, as well as locations not funded in Phase I.

Written by Brian Wang,