SpaceX owned satellite broadband company Starlink had allowed users in India to 'reserve' a connection by paying a $99 deposit in late February. India's regulatory bodies have complained that the company has not adhered to the guidelines and hence is facing barriers. This could be a piece of bad news for people who wanted to get their hands on the Starlink Broadband, as this could lead to the cancellation of pre-bookings. Starlink Broadband was deemed to roll out in India by 2022, but now it is uncertain unless the company gets a green flag from the authorities.
Authorities Are Creating Barriers for Starlink From Entering
ET Telecom's report on the same cited that Starlink doesn't have its ground or earth Stations in India. Besides, the ISRO and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) hasn't provided satellite frequency authorisation to the company. Starlink hasn't been obedient to existing guidelines forcing the authorities to create hurdles. Therefore, the commercial launch will not be executed in the testing phase of the communication services.
The Broadband India Forum (BIF) has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to block Elon Musk's Starlink from pre-selling the beta version of its Starlink satellite internet services in India.
This was confirmed by an ET report that stated, TV Ramachandran, who is the president of the industry body that represents many well known MNC's namely Amazon, Facebook, Google, Huges, Microsoft etc. has said that Starlink does not have permissions to operate or offer services in India. The concerned bodies have been instructed by him to intervene to protect fair competition and comply with existing policy and regulatory norms.
SpaceX has kept its ground saying that Starlink's satellites are 60 times closer to Earth than traditional satellites. The closeness to Earth has benefits that are impossible for a traditional satellite to provide, such as lower latency and the ability to support varied services. Lower latency has been promoted for the convenience it can provide while making video calls and for online gaming.
People who might have 'reserved' a connection by paying a $99 deposit do not need to worry because the company had assured that the people who wish to opt-out would get an option to claim a full refund from the company. Starlink's future from India hasn't gone yet. It can still comply with all the necessary regulations and policies of the government and launch its services in the targeted time.