ell, it wasn’t $20 billion — but it’s not nothing. In January 2020, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission announced it was creating a Rural Digital Opportunity Fund,or RDOF, to subsidize internet service providers willing and able to bring high speed internet to rural America. Initially, the FCC would distribute $16 billion, payable over 10 years, to help set up “gigabit speed broadband networks in unserved rural areas.” An additional $4.4 billion would be doled out later to expand access even further. Elon Musk immediately threw his hat in the ring, promising that for the right price, Starlink — the new SpaceX satellite broadband internet service — could provide gigabit-speed internet access from space with just 20 milliseconds of latency (i.e. lag timescomparable to terrestrial cable internet). Although initially hesitant to believe SpaceX’s claims, the FCC ultimately agreed to let SpaceX enter the competition — and now, SpaceX has won. Image source: Getty Images. $885 million here, $885 million there — it’s already real money Sadly for investors hoping to profit from an eventual Starlink IPO , SpaceX didn’t win all the marbles — but it did win more than a fair share. As the SEC announced on Monday, SpaceX has been awarded $885.5 million to provide satellite internet service to 642,925 rural homes and businesses spread across 35 states over the next 10 years. SpaceX wasn’t the only winner (although it was the only provider to win by offering fast, low-latency satellite internet from Low Earth Orbit). In total, […]