Why is Govt asking people not to subscribe to Starlink Internet Services?

Indian Government cautioned people not to subscribe to Starlink Internet Services, which is led by Elon Musk-led SpaceX’s satellite broadband arm Starlink.

Key Points

  • Government is doing so because, the internet service is not licensed yer to offer satellite-based internet services in India.
  • Department of Telecom has also directed Starlink to comply with regulatory framework to offer satellite-based communication services.
  • Department has also directed Starlink to refrain from booking or rendering the satellite internet services “with immediate effect”.

Background

Starlink internet service provider is planning to explore collaboration with telecom companies in India in order to expand its broadband services here. It has planned to primarily focus on rural areas. However, offering satellite-based services in India needs requisite licence from Central government.

Internet subscriber in India

Starlink claims to receive more than 5,000 pre-orders from India. The company is charging a deposit of Rs 7,350 per customer. It claims to deliver data speeds of around 50-150 megabits per second in beta stage.

About Starlink

Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX. It provides satellite Internet access to most of the Earth. It comprises of more than 1600 satellites as of mid-2021. In future, it will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO). These satellites will communicate with designated ground transceivers. Starlink is currently offering beta service in 20 countries, as of November 2021.

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