Elon Musk’s internet service ‘Starlink’ faces hurdles in India, says Report

The Broadband India Forum has written to TRAI and ISRO to block ‘Starlink’ in India for not meeting regulatory guidelines.

The Broadband India Forum has written to the TRAI and the ISRO to block Elon Musk’s SpaceX Technologies from pre-selling the beta version of internet provider ‘Starlink’ in India.

The Broadband India Forum, which is an  representing the likes of Amazon, Hughes, Google, Microsoft and Facebook has written to the Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) asking them to stop SpaceX from pre-selling the beta version of its ‘Starlink’ internet services in India. Forum claimed that SpaceX didn’t have licence or authorisation from the government to offer such services in the country.

Forum wrote to authority stating, “We request you to urgently intervene to protect fair competition and adherence to existing policy and regulatory norms,” Broadband India Forum president TV Ramachandran said in the letters, as quoted by ANI.

The forum also added that Starlink didn’t have its own ground or earth stations in India nor satellite frequency authorisation from ISRO and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) required to offer beta services in the country, the report added.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has offered pre order of beta version internet services in India for a “fully refundable deposit” of $99 (Rs 7,000). The service competes with other satellite communication (satcom) services such as Bharti Group and the UK government-owned OneWeb (aiming for a mid-2022 launch) and Amazon’s Project Kuiper.

SpaceX’s beta programme is offering broadband connectivity even in urban areas, such as the Delhi-Noida Direct Flyway or Delhi-Jaipur Expressway, as per its website.

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