Elon Musk’s Starlink loses frequencies in France

Published on 06 April 2022 08:15

Kerckhove said the 12,000 Starlink satellites are a nuisance for those who like to gaze at the stars

PARIS (AFP) – Starlink, the satellite internet service of tech billionaire Elon Musk, has lost its frequencies in France after a legal battle by environmental groups.

In a judgment published on Tuesday, the Conseil d’Etat, France’s supreme court of administrative justice, overturned a February 2021 decision by telecoms regulators Arcep granting Starlink two frequency bands to connect satellites to French customers.

The court criticized Arcep for not having consulted the public before giving the green light to the project when it was likely to have a significant impact on the high-speed Internet market as well as on users.

“The Council of State has sent a signal to those who confuse speed with haste,” said Stephen Kerckhove, head of Act for the Environment, one of the two groups behind the lawsuit.

Starlink could not immediately be reached for comment on the decision.

Kerckhove said he hoped Arcep would now not just launch a public consultation but would “truly carry out an economic and environmental assessment” of Starlink.

Starlink offers high-speed Internet service to customers in areas that are underserved or unserved by fixed or mobile telephone operators via a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit.

Kerckhove said the 12,000 Starlink satellites are a nuisance for those who like to gaze at the stars.

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