Today, TechFreedom filed comments in support of Starlink Services, LLC’s Application for Review of the Wireline Competition Bureau’s decision to revoke Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) support for delivering its low-latency satellite broadband service to nearly 650,000 locations that currently lack high-speed broadband. 

“The Bureau appears to have changed the RDOF rules in mid-stream,” said James E. Dunstan, TechFreedom’s General Counsel. “The FCC must apply its rules in a consistent manner and provide adequate notice if its rules are to be changed. Despite the revolutionary pace at which Starlink is deploying its NGSO constellation, the Bureau has suddenly developed cold feet when it comes to satellite broadband.” 

“This decision threatens to permanently place some remote areas on the other side of the digital divide,” Dunstan continued. “This is an impending disaster. Deployment costs are skyrocketing and the new FCC maps will likely reveal far bigger holes in the ‘fabric’ of broadband deployment. Will fiber magically be strung to those 650,000 locations that Starlink was to serve? Most likely, many Americans will be left unserved.”

“The digital divide needs to be closed,” Dunstan concluded. “To do so, the government must bring all assets to bear. Changing the rules mid-stream to arbitrarily exclude one class of technology, possibly the only technology that can reach the remotest people of America, defeats this purpose. The Commission has a duty to reverse Bureau decisions that misapply its rules.” 


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