The Federal Communications Commission has awarded SpaceX almost $886 million as part of a program to help bring high-speed internet to rural areas in the US. A total of 180 companies won part of the $9.2 billion up for grabs in phase one of the FCC's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction. The money will help provide most rural areas with broadband speeds of at least 100/20 megabits per second -- and over 85% with gigabit speeds.
The funding will be distributed over the next 10 years in equal monthly payments.
"I'm thrilled with the incredible success of this auction, which brings welcome news to millions of unconnected rural Americans who for too long have been on the wrong side of the digital divide," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "They now stand to gain access to high-speed, high-quality broadband service."
SpaceX aims to improve internet speeds with a satellite service called Starlink. It's sending thousands of small satellites into orbit, which form constellations of flying routers that beam connectivity back to Earth.
SpaceX didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.