Starlink: The Frenchman for whom Elon Musk’s Internet access service has changed everything

Satellite Internet access services will maintain the permission to use frequencies in our country. For the great comfort of its first users who were forced to come together to defend a service that has become essential to them.

“Starlink has revolutionized my daily life”,
“Starlink is important to my company’s sustainability”,
“The only solution to having internet at home is Starlink”,
“Sterlink is a public utility”.

They are only a few thousand, but French users of the Starlink Satellite Internet Access service have been forced to support a request for frequency approval from an American company. They have made a point of expressing their support for the constellation of the American company SpaceX in a public consultation framework organized by the Telecom Police. This was done between April and May to find out if it was necessary to maintain permission to use the frequency in France.

The 635 pages of contributions have been published in our country at the same time as the approval of Arsep for ten years. A first green light was indeed issued in February 2021 but it was repealed by the State Council in April 2022.
This time the matter is settled. And a lot of customer messages must count on this decision. Because they are in favor of Starlink in their vast majority. These are signed by both the general public user and the company, sometimes written in English by European neighbors who have come to settle in our countryside. They show that, despite the forced deployment of fiber optics, very high speeds are still not a reality for everyone in France, especially in rural areas. These messages further highlight the fact that access to a quality connection has become almost crucial due to the generalization of telework, dematerialisation of public services or the multiplication of medical deserts.

“Without Starlink, we’re doomed.”

The prospect of losing access to these satellite services has completely destroyed those customers who are afraid to disconnect again. They write their plight from Lands, Brittany, Voges, Maritime Alps or Hout-Savoie. And their messages are touching:

“Thanks to Starlink, we can go to a doctor without having to go a kilometer to make a call.”
“I am a general practitioner in a deficit area where there are more than 10,000 patients without a doctor, this is a real public health problem. I work 60 hours a week, I am one of the 5% doctors who have the most patients in France and I try to be at least at home to save my family life. In order to maintain the continuity of care, from Starlink, I have the possibility to do teleconsultation from home. “
We are a village of 11 houses without internet access or telephone. Without Starlink we would be a disaster, it would be impossible for firefighters or emergency services or the police or the gendarmerie or the doctor to be contacted. “,
“Sterlink is for me and my partner today, the only solution that allows us to ensure our professional future.”
“Sterlink allows me to work from home and access the internet because no operator wants to install fiber in our rural part”,
“Living in the countryside, Starlink is the only service today that allows us to access the Internet without interruption and to telecommute and use telephone services, television, video games that work through the Internet”,
“I live in a hilly area and hardly deserve to get 5 mega in xDSL. Fiber is not expected for two years and 4G is of a deplorable quality especially in rainy or snowy times “,
“Starlink is essential to the survival of my company, which cannot receive the right flow in the traditional way.”
“Since I have Starlink and during Kovid’s time, my activities have been able to continue and develop from my home in this mountain village.”

Some rare contributors still refuse to maintain service.

“If the development of Starlink leads to the creation of a monopoly, it is very worrying that it is being run by a private capitalist company.”A citizen concerned, “Starlink marks privatization of thousands of satellite launches”Another is apprehensive.

These oppositions can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

Sterlink is not the only service in this market and it came to our country very recently. Nordnet, an affiliate of Orange, also provides a satellite service. It is cheaper but with higher latency and lower throughput. As a reminder, there are an estimated 50,000 satellite users in France today, according to Arsep. By 2025, when the coverage of the optical fiber region is complete, there will still be 670,000 homes on the floor. Satellite will not be the only option, 5G or FWA (Fixed Wireless Access) via 5G Box could present an attractive mitigation technology solution. There is also talk of maintaining THD radio with other frequencies than currently assigned frequencies.


Testimonials collected by Arcep

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