Perhaps more importantly, SpaceX and Starlink seem to have cleared the FCC's bar for competing in the RDOF contest. If you recall, the FCC was skeptical of SpaceX's ability to provide sub-100 lag speeds from space, and promised to apply "very close scrutiny" to SpaceX's performance. Ars, however, says Starlink is delivering ping rates of anywhere from 94 ms (already below 100) all the way down to just 31 ms.

What comes next

As far as qualifying to compete for RDOF and the FCC's $16 billion, this looks very much like "mission accomplished" for SpaceX. Going forward, the company will be aiming to drive its lag rate down below 20 ms, while boosting its internet download speed toward 1 Gbps. And over time, SpaceX hopes that these levels of performance will win it as many as 5 million broadband satellite internet customers in the U.S. At a rumored monthly service cost of $80, times 12 months in a year, Starlink therefore looks to be building toward a $4.8 billion annual revenue stream for SpaceX. 

What does it all mean for SpaceX?

When you consider that it would take SpaceX launching nearly 80 rockets a year at a launch cost of $62 million apiece to generate similar revenue from space launch, it's easy to see how Starlink could soon become SpaceX's primary revenue driver -- and a great candidate for an IPO


RDOF is the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.  It is a 16 billion dollar slush fund that the FCC has for development of high quality rural internet service.  It looks like Musk is going to make all the check points wanted by the FCC for access to a lot of that money.  
4.8 billion annually.  That is the engine with which Musk intends to fund his voyages to Mars.