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FCC cancels $900 million award to Starlink

The FCC today canceled a $900 million subsidy it had awarded to SpaceX in December 2020 as part of a federal program to help establish broadband service in rural communities.

The reasoning for canceling the award given at the link is very unclear. However, since the award a lobbying effort by Starlink’s competitors — teamed up with Democrats in Congress — to cancel the award has been on going. It now seems to have succeeded.

Another clue to explaining this cancellation is timing. The award was announced at the end of the Trump administration, when his appointees controlled the FCC. The cancellation took place during the Biden administration, with the FCC now controlled by Democrats who are increasing revealing themselves to be very hostile to private commercial space in general and Musk and SpaceX in particular.

Nonetheless, it seems absurd to give SpaceX any such subsidy, regardless of the politics. As I said in February 2021:

No one, including SpaceX, should get these funds. SpaceX is proving they aren’t necessary to get the job done (bringing fast internet service to rural communities). Moreover, the federal government really doesn’t have the cash, deep in debt as it is.

Sadly, just because the FCC cancelled its award to SpaceX we should not expect as modern taxpayers that the money won’t be spent. Expect the Biden administration to instead dole it out to its preferred vendors.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

6 comments

  • Kyle

    Was that suppose to be $900 million? $900 billion seems a bit high.

  • Kyle: Oy. Typo fixed. Thanks.

  • Catch Thirty Thr33

    As if another reason is needed to radically shrink the government. Such noble sounding causes like bringing broadband Internet to poor rural areas are actually nothing more than lining the pockets of those whom the government favors. All under the guise of compassion.

  • wayne

    “Congress created the Affordable Connectivity Program, a new long-term, $14 billion program, to replace the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. This investment in broadband affordability will help ensure we can afford the connections we need for work, school, health care and more for a long time.”
    “The maximum monthly benefit will change from $50 per month to $30 per month for households not located on qualifying Tribal lands. The monthly benefit will remain at $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.”
    “Households have new ways to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program such as: receiving WIC benefits or having an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.”

    https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit

  • Sayomara

    Not sure if this is related pot of money but “Vilsack announces $401 million for high-speed internet”
    https://www.tsln.com/news/vilsack-announces-401-million-for-high-speed-internet/
    This looks like its USDA money where your talking about FCC money but the amounts are close enough to make one wonder if they are related

  • Col Beausabre

    What the HEY is the USDA doing with broadband, are they wiring cows together…..With the FCC deciding it controls space and the USDA running internet access, we have a government gone mad (and as an old soldier, the Army Corps of Engineers should be out of civil engineering projects, it’s over a century and a half since West Point was the only engineering school in the country. There’s thousands of civilian engineers who can do the job. Set up a Civil Works arm under the GSA and have the Corps concentrate on what it’s core mission is – MILITARY engineering. And there’s a precedent, the Coast Guard is the merger of the Revenue Cutter, Lifesaving and Lighthouse Services)

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