Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite network for providing high-speed internet from space, was allowed to operate in France on June 2 after a month-long public consultation in the country. The service was blocked by the Council of State on April 5, 2022, because Arsep, the French telecommunications regulatory authority, did not hold a public consultation when approving SpaceX to settle in France. France in 2021. Starlink has also requested approval for the use of frequencies connected to the Gateway Earth Station (GES), which contributes to the operation of its network.
In February 2021, SpaceX received approval from Arsep to launch a Starlink broadband Internet connection in France. Arsep announced that it had authorized Starlink to become an Internet operator on national territory and also to operate a user’s satellite dish. In 2020, the French regulator gave SpaceX the right to build and operate the Starlink Gateway Ground Station in France. But with all this SpaceX approval, Arsep will fail to organize a public consultation on the arrival of the satellite operator in France.
In fact, in accordance with paragraph L. 32-1 of the Post and Electronic Communications Code, when Arsep plans to take action that significantly affects the market or affects the interests of end users, he must submit these measures for advice. , The results of which are published. As a result, by granting its green light without consulting the public, Arsep Post and the Electronic Communications Code have not been complied with. And the association called for the abolition of PRIARTEM, Informer and Agir pour l’environnement spectrum. They won their lawsuit on April 5, 2022.
The decision attacks Arsep, which aims to endorse the company Starlink Internet Services Limited.  The provision of high-speed internet access and the impact on the interests of end users can have a significant impact on the market. Thus, in making this decision without prior consultation with the public, Arsep has disregarded the provisions of Section 32-1 V of the Postal and Electronic Communications Code, which governs the decision of the State Council. According to Stephen Kerkhov, general representative of the Agir Por Law Environment Association, the authorities’ decision “fixes matters”.
A few days later, on April 8, 2022, Sterlink asked Arsep to consult with the public in France to gather information from those interested in its Internet service. On June 2, Arsep released the results of this public consultation. As part of this public consultation, Starlink provided comments, 12 other organizations participated, as well as 2,000 individuals, including Starlink subscribers. Some of Starlink’s competitors, including Viasat, OneWeb, Orange, Eutelsat and Inmarsart, also had the opportunity to express their views.
The results show that the people most interested in Starlink were in the “dead zone”, with poor network services. The recommendations specifically highlight the interest in the Starlink service for developing mobile ‘white zones’ or poorly connected connections via fiber networks, Arsep said. Other players who contributed to their observation during this public consultation were the Association of Alternative Operators, the High Commission for Digital and Postal Services, and the National Center for Space Research.
Sterlink allows telecom operators to access high-speed Internet access to people living in areas that are stationary and poorly served by mobile networks, through thousands of small satellites orbiting the Earth in low orbits (mainly 550 kilometers). But, currently, the acquisition of a Starlink kit is very expensive in France. In fact, in March, Starlink increased the purchase price of Starlink kits and monthly services. Now the price of the Starlink kit – including a terminal, tripod and Wi-Fi router – has risen from $ 499,599 (a 20% increase) for new orders.
SpaceX increased the monthly subscription price from $ 99 to $ 110 (up 11%). The agency said “the sole purpose of the price increase is to keep pace with rising inflation.” “SpaceX and Tesla have recently seen significant inflationary pressures on raw materials and logistics,” said Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. So, SpaceX has sent notices to Starlink users and those who have ordered Starlink kits and are waiting to receive them, to inform them of the new price.
Finally, Musk hopes to cover all regions of the world except the pole. Also, the billionaire cautioned in his speech not to position himself as a front competitor to telecom operators. Musk likes to see Starlink as a good complement to fiber and 5G. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last year, he said connections were needed in places where it was not available or where it was limited or expensive. According to data provided by SpaceX, these areas, which are difficult for traditional telecom operators to access, represent between 3% and 5% of the market.
Source: Arsep Press Release
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