A Controversial Rejection

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Human beings might be the smartest and most intricate species to have ever walked the earth, but mind you, they also have a strong tendency of making mistakes. Now, while these mistakes actually do a lot to improve us over time, some of them even go on to cause irreparable damage within our lives. The risk in play around the latter category will eventually force us to look for a defensive cover of some sort, and we will find just the thing when we bring dedicated regulatory bodies into the fold. Having a well-defined authority across each and every area was a game-changer, as it instantly made up for a lot of our shortcomings. Nevertheless, this whole utopia will have a dramatically short life, and if we care to be honest, it was all technology’s fault. You see, the moment technology got its layered to take over the world; it gave people an unprecedented shot at exploiting others for their own benefit. Such a dynamic then went ahead and nullified our entire progress, but fortunately enough, the regulatory industry make a comeback sooner rather than later. In fact, the traces of this comeback have only grown more and more evident in the recent past, and FCC’s latest move should solidify them even further moving forward.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formally rejected Starlink’s application for subsidies under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund program. It is somewhat of a surprising development, considering the stated program was being viewed as a major milestone in regards to boosting internet availability across poorly served areas of the US. However, according to the details provided by FCC, application from Starlink failed to present a viable plan for how it will translate the envisioned broadband expansion into a reality. While the commission did find some level of merit in Starlink’s presentation, it was evidently not enough to warrant a $885.5 million financial aid, which the company acquired through a bidding process back in 2020.

“Starlink’s technology has real promise,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC chair. “But the question before us was whether to publicly subsidize its still developing technology for consumer broadband – which requires that users purchase a $600 dish – with nearly $900 million in universal service funds until 2032.”

Talk about Starlink’s plan, it was expected to generate broadband availability for over 35 locations, and it would have done so on prices that were intentioned to stay in sync with terrestrial broadband. Nevertheless, Starlink isn’t the only one to have lost out on a big financial package. LTD Broadband, a fixed wireless provider, is also told to do without the $1.3 billion cash-injection it acquired during the same auction. For LTD, the rejection was more centered upon the fact that it literally lost telecommunications carrier status in seven states, rendering it ineligible for support there.

“After careful legal, technical, and policy review, we are rejecting these applications,” said Rosenworcel. “We must put scarce universal service dollars to their best possible use as we move into a digital future that demands ever more powerful and faster networks. We cannot afford to subsidize ventures that are not delivering the promised speeds or are not likely to meet program requirements.”

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