The Federal Communications Commission Dec. 12 rejected an application by Starlink for nearly $900 million in Rural Digital Opportunity Funds to bring broadband services to rural locations, including health care facilities, concluding the application failed to demonstrate the company could deliver the promised service. Under the program’s two-step application process, applicants who submit a winning bid must submit a longer application to verify that they meet program requirements based on specific coverage locations.

“The FCC followed a careful legal, technical and policy review to determine that this applicant had failed to meet its burden to be entitled to nearly $900 million in universal service funds for almost a decade.”

Stephen Hughes, AHA’s director of health information technology policy, said, “The AHA appreciates that the FCC is holding service providers to a minimum standard that guarantees the quality of broadband service being brought to rural locations. Access to quality health care in the 21st century requires reliable high-speed broadband connectivity.”

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