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Elon Musk’s Starlink internet loses frequencies in France

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Starlink, the satellite internet service of tech billionaire Elon Musk, has lost its frequencies in France after a legal battle waged by environmental groups.

In a ruling published Tuesday, the State Council, France’s supreme court for administrative justice, quashed a February 2021 decision by the Arcep telecoms regulators granting Starlink two bands of frequencies to link the satellites with French clients.

The court criticised Arcep for not having consulted the public before greenlighting the project even though it was likely to have an important impact on the high-speed internet market as well affect users.

“The State Council sent a signal to those who confuse speed with haste,” Stephen Kerckhove, head of Act for the Environment, one of the two groups behind the legal action.

Starlink could not be immediately reached for comment on the ruling.

Kerckhove said he hoped Arcep would not now just go through the motions of holding a public consultation but “truly carry out an economic and environmental evaluation” of Starlink.

Starlink offers high-speed internet service to customers in areas that are poorly or not served by fixed-line or mobile telecoms operators via a constellation of satellites in low earth orbit.

Kerckhove said the 12,000 Starlink satellites are a nuisance for those who like to gaze upon the stars.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.

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