February 16, 2021
Partner Tom Cohen
was quoted in the TR Daily
article "FBA, NTCA Question Starlink RDOF Viability." The article discusses whether the Starlink satellite constellation that Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) is developing will be able to meet the service provision commitments it made as a winning bidder in the FCC's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction.
The results of the study regarding the Starlink constellation indicated there needs to be "some kind of stress test" designed as part of the approval process to ensure proposed services will deliver as promised.
Cohen, who counsels the FBA, among others, contended the study shows there are real questions about the legitimacy of the auction if Starlink cannot deliver the type of service it said it could in its application.
"The auction needs to have integrity," Cohen said. "Starlink bid against others and what they could perform. ... This undermines the integrity of the auction. So that is the problem. The FCC needs to do a better job of making sure applicants have the technical ability to be able to deliver promised services to consumers because if you don't, the consumer, who's waited so long for service, gets stranded."
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