France begins public consultation on Starlink after having license revoked last week

SpaceX was on the losing end of a court decision last week that saw them without a license to offer Starlink satellite internet service in France.

The decision was based on the fact that Arcep, an independent French agency in charge of regulating telecommunications, didn’t hold public consultations before granting the license in February 2021.

The court said that since the service “could impact the market of access to high-bandwidth internet and affect the interests of end users,” public consultations were required by law.

Moving quickly, Arcep is now inviting public comments on whether SpaceX should be allowed to provide service over two different radio frequencies.

The deadline to submit comments is May 9, 2022.

In a statement, the agency said they didn’t believe a consultation was necessary since they did not view Starlink’s availability as having a large effect on the market, nor affecting the interests of end users.

They also cited the fact that other satellites internet services were already available in France.

“The frequency bands considered allow for the cohabitation of multiple satellite systems and will not provoke a frequency shortage. What is more, there are already other broadband satellite providers with several tens of thousands of subscribers out of the more than 17 million broadband subscribers in France.” (via Advanced Television)

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