SpaceX’s Starlink division has appealed the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to block it from receiving $885.51 million in broadband funding. Starlink described the funding reversal as “grossly unfair” and “flawed in terms of law and policy.”
The appeal Filed Friday asking the commission to reverse the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau decision to… Last month. The FCC is unlikely to reverse the decision, as it enjoyed public support from Chair Jessica Rosenworsel. But SpaceX’s action could be a prelude to filing a lawsuit against the FCC.
In conclusion, SpaceX said that “the committee should reverse the Bureau’s decision by finding that SpaceX is reasonably capable of meeting its performance obligations in the winning bid areas,” and ordered the Bureau to grant SpaceX’s application.
Starlink was Temporarily awarded Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) funds in December 2020 through a reverse auction in which ISPs bid on grants organized by census groups. In July 2021, six months after taking office, Rosenworcel announce That the auction supervised by former president Ajit Pai ran into big problems and needed to be cleaned up.
At the time, Rosenworcel’s Federal Communications Commission cited “complaints that the program is preparing to fund broadband for parking and well-served urban areas.” When Rosenworcel later refused to fund SpaceX entirely, she called Starlink’s technology promising, but said the FCC should not “publicly support its still-in-development consumer broadband technology — which requires users to buy a $600 plate — with nearly $900 $1 million in universal service funds through 2032.”
The FCC also rejected the $1.3 billion planned for LTD Broadband, a fixed wireless provider. In general, the current leadership of the FCC has agreed About $6 billion of the $9.2 billion originally awarded to ISPs by Pai’s FCC.
Starlink alleged that the FCC “misused off-the-record data to penalize SpaceX alone for its current system speeds, which has nothing to do with whether SpaceX can meet RDOF speed requirements starting three years from now, as is already required.” Follow Starlink:
The RDOF was intended, by design, to provide funding — and time — for participating service providers to meet these requirements. In fact, most RDOF applicants currently do not provide service in many/any of their RDOF areas today. The fact that the bureau relied on unauthorized external speed tests without notifying SpaceX that its decision was based on these tests only exacerbates the error.
The FCC funding decision questioned Starlink’s ability to provide a low-latency service with required download speeds of 100 Mbps and upload speeds of 20 Mbps. The FCC cited Ookla speed test data showing Starlink speeds declining in the second quarter of 2022, “including download speeds well below 20Mbps.”
Starlink also accused the FCC of “ignorance.”[ing] Strong record evidence of SpaceX’s proven ability to rapidly expand and modernize its network, “citing the company’s rapid rocket launch schedule.” This world-leading launch cadence gives SpaceX an unparalleled ability to deploy its satellites and has enabled SpaceX to launch more than 3,000 satellites to date,” the company said. SpaceX’s satellites have also operated with over 99 percent reliability since being licensed by the FCC in 2018, far exceeding the publication and reliability requirements in their FCC license and proven to easily bypass all RDOF deployment requirements. “