(Bloomberg) -- Elon Musk’s request for $886 million in US subsidies for beaming broadband service to rural areas via his SpaceX satellites was rejected by US regulators.

Funding Musk’s network of Starlink satellites wouldn’t be the best use of limited broadband subsidies, the Federal Communications Commission said in a news release Wednesday.

“Starlink’s technology has real promise,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement. “But the question before us was whether to publicly subsidize its still-developing technology for consumer broadband -- which requires that users purchase a $600 dish -- with nearly $900 million in universal service funds until 2032.”

The FCC “cannot afford to subsidize ventures that are not delivering the promised speeds or are not likely to meet program requirements,” Rosenworcel said.

Musk, the world’s richest person, is chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. as well as Tesla Inc. SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Rural internet service providers had called on the FCC to deny SpaceX funding after the company succeeded in a preliminary stage of consideration. They argued the service was being built without the aid and isn’t limited to rural areas.

The funding at issue is part of the $9.2 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, a centerpiece of federal efforts to connect millions of people without home broadband. Many of them are in thinly populated areas that are costly to serve. The fund is poised to distribute public money to extend broadband in 49 states over 10 years.

SpaceX in 2020 won preliminary FCC approval for its plan to provide service to 642,925 locations in 35 states. But consumer advocates said those locations include parts of New York City and airports in Newark and Miami -- places that don’t fit the goal of bringing service to rural people beyond the reach of broadband networks.

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