Elon Musk’s Starlink project submitted in France for public consultation by Arcep

This service allows people in low-range areas to access the Internet via thousands of small satellites.

Arcep, the French telecoms regulator, announced on Friday the opening of a public consultation on the use of hertz frequencies by the Starlink satellite internet access service launched by billionaire Elon Musk, following a decision by the Council of State. At the end of a 30-day period, Arcep will publish “as soon as possible” the contributions it will have received from the actors involved, and will make a new decision, it said in a press release.

Seized by the environmental associations Priartem and Agir pour l’environnement, the Council of State on Tuesday canceled Arcep’s decision, taken on February 9, 2021, to allocate two frequency bands to Starlink to connect its satellites to its users. French final. The administrative judge criticized Arcep for not having continued”to a public consultation” before giving this green light, even if this decision was “likely to have a significant impact on the market for providing high-speed Internet access, and for users

Arcep had an opposite analysis, as “the considered frequency band allowed several satellite actors to live together, and thus did not lead to a phenomenon of frequency scarcitythe press release said.In addition, on the day of authorization, other very high-speed satellite Internet access offers already existed, whose users represent several tens of thousands of the more than 17 million very high-speed subscribers in Franceadded the regulator.

Over 100,000 subscribers worldwide

For now, the Starlink service still works in France, AFP was able to verify with users. Officially opened in May 2021, it will be operated by SpaceX, the space company owned by billionaire Tesla boss Elon Musk, who did not respond to requests from AFP. The service gives residents of areas poorly served by telecom operators’ fixed and mobile networks access to high-speed internet via thousands of small satellites orbiting the Earth in low orbit (mainly 550 kilometers). It requires specific equipment that sells around 600 euros and a subscription of almost 100 euros per month.

In January, at Starlink’s request, Arcep had also revoked licenses to use frequencies for two of the three terrestrial stations the company planned to operate in France, locally disputed. The Starlink service currently has more than 100,000 subscribers worldwide, according to public statements by Starlink officials.

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