The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) choice to reject SpaceX's $885.5 million in rural broadband subsidies could give Chinese satellite internet companies a competitive advantage, FCC commissioner Nathan Simington said on Monday.

Simington expressed concerns about a separate Commerce Department decision to exclude satellite broadband providers from a $42.5 billion fund for broadband internet subsidies, claiming that this decision would also benefit Chinese businesses.

"These actions will also risk giving Chinese satellite internet providers, who have the full support of their government, a competitive advantage in serving the rest of the world," Simington said, via Reuters.

Over the weekend, SpaceX, the company founded by Elon Musk, appealed the FCC's decision to deny its request for funding under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which is a multibillion-dollar program in which SpaceX was anticipated to receive $885.5 million to provide satellite internet to areas of the United States with little to no internet access.

"The decision appears to have been rendered in service to a clear bias towards fiber, rather than a merits-based decision to actually connect unserved Americans," SpaceX's senior director of satellite policy David Goldman wrote. "It is hard not to see it as an improper attempt to undo the (FCC's) earlier decision."

"This would be especially troubling because it might raise questions for low-earth orbit connectivity companies worldwide about the regulatory risks of choosing to domicile in the United States."

Tens of thousands of Americans have already signed up for SpaceX's Starlink, a rapidly expanding network of more than 3,000 satellites in low-Earth orbit. Users must pay at least $599 for a user terminal and $110 a month for service.

Although Starlink's technology "has real promise" according to Rosenworcel, it cannot meet the program's requirements. He cited data demonstrating a consistent fall in speeds over the previous year and criticized the service's price as being too high for customers.

To ensure that Americans in rural areas "get connected as soon as possible," Simington urged FCC commissioners to examine SpaceX's plea.

He joins Brendan Carr, another Republican FCC commissioner, in criticizing the agency for rejecting the funding without a unanimous commission vote. Carr was the first to do so. Republicans and Democrats are currently tied 2-2 on the FCC.

"To be clear, this is a decision that tells families in states across the country that they should just keep waiting on the wrong side of the digital divide even though we have the technology to improve their lives now," Carr said.