Today, Reuters reported that India’s government told its citizens to not preorder Starlink’s internet service. The country’s Department of Telecommunication also told the company to stop selling because they do not have a license.
It is noticed that M/s #Starlink (https://t.co/xscnDS4Cnn) has started pre-selling/booking of #satellite based #Internet Services in India without any #license/authorization.
Public is advised not to subscribe to Starlink services being advertised. #GatiShakti #spacex @SpaceX
— DoT India (@DoT_India) November 26, 2021
As of now, Starlink has only given Reuters this response: “No comment for now”.
Despite this, Reuters reports that other companies have launched satellites that would offer “low-latency broadband internet services” that would target the same areas of interest that have little to no internet access.
So, what could be the issue? Well, back in April, problems started to arise after Broadband India Forum (BIF) wanted the DoT to stop Starlink pre-sales because they did not have a license or authorization. According to BIF’s website, they are a non-profit that is about “promoting, supporting and enhancing all policy, regulatory and standards initiatives for the proliferation of high-quality broadband in the country in a technology-neutral and all-inclusive manner.” With this in mind, the non-profit is represented by broad band internet companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. This is when India’s DoT started investigating on whether or not the company’s beta roll-out went against India’s telecom and technology laws.
Though India is rich in pastoral scenery that is prime for a satellite internet network, Starlink nor SpaceX do not have any set plans on production in India. They plan to have 200,000 customers by 2022. As of November 1st, Starlink had about 5,000 preorders.
According to The Verge, Starlink is offered in 20 different countries and has about 140,000 customers. Right now, they only offer beta version of their internet service, but Elon Musk is aiming that the company will have full commercial internet by next year.