News hardware Is the threat hanging over Starlink in France really gone?
Starlink, the internet connection launched by billionaire Elon Musk, has been under threat in France since April following the cancellation of the operation of two radio frequency bands currently used by the American company to serve its French customers.
On April 5, 2022, the Council of State had canceled the authorization given by Arcep to use two radio frequency bands to Starlink making the service unusable on French territory.
A project launched too quickly
François Lafforgue, lawyer for two ecological associations Priartem and Agir pour l’environnement lodged a complaint with the Council of State to ban the service judging that the latter had was launched too quickly. Granting these authorizations could have a significant impact on the environment and on the market for high-speed Internet access and on end users.
The high authority criticized Arcep for not having conducted a public consultation before granting these precious authorizations in accordance with Article L.32-1 V of the Post and Electronic Communications Code (CPCE), which provides for the implementation of a public consultation beforehand:
When … the Minister responsible for electronic communications and the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications, Posts and Press Distribution consider adopting measures having a significant impact on a market or affecting the interests of end users, they make public the measures envisaged within a reasonable period of time before their adoption and collect the observations made on them. The result of these consultations is made public, subject to secrets protected by law. The authority shall set up a service making it possible to find out about the consultations provided for in the preceding paragraph.
Arcep therefore had to cancel these authorizations and urgently proceeded in early May with the missing public consultation.
Starlink mobilized its customers
The Starlink company had not interrupted the service and had asked its some 4,000 customers to take part in this public consultation. In the e-mail sent to its customers, one could read:
If you would like to help Starlink provide services to French citizens, please send an email stating how important Starlink is to you… In your comments you may wish to highlight…why Starlink is important to you and how you use the service and whether or not you previously had access to a broadband connection before Starlink became available…if Starlink is no longer available to you, if you will no longer have access to a broadband connection debit.
These 30 days of consultation enabled Arcep to receive just over 2000 responses among Starlink customers and industry players.
In view of the contributions received, Arcep has decided to grant Starlink an authorization to use radio frequenciesfor a network open to the public providing fixed internet access via satellite.
Starlink is an innovative satellite internet service that operates through a constellation of satellites. Project initiated by Elon Musk in 2015 and operational recently, it guarantees a stable and fast connection for everyone, regardless of your geographical location. Mainly intended for the forgotten fiber and aims to reduce the digital divide on a large scale. You can read our Starlink review by clicking here.
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