SpaceX loses $900m Starlink subsidy

Starlink, the satellite internet service operated by SpaceX, will not receive a hoped-for $900M subsidy that was already on the chopping block. It failed to deliver promised speeds to users, and for many speeds have reportedly fallen. Moreover, the subsidy was qualified by the promise of successful Starship launches, and that hasn't happened either.

The FCC had rescined the funding in August 2022 based on speed-test data after Starlink had agreed to provide high-speed Internet service to 642,000 rural homes and businesses in 35 states.

SpaceX said it was "deeply disappointed and perplexed" by the FCC decision, adding Starlink "is demonstrably one of the best options – likely the best option" to accomplish the goals of the rural internet program.

I think at this point any given MVNO is as likely to deliver on rural internet as Starlink is within the immediate timeframe. The two Republican FCC commissioners dissented from the decision, claiming that it was a way of punishing Elon Musk. But I'm glad they brought him up, because it invites everyone to wonder whether Elon Musk, the world's richest man, needs another $900m of taxpayers' money.