French court revokes Starlink’s French licences

The highest administrative court in France has revoked a decision to grant two frequency bands to the Elon Musk-owned satellite internet company Starlink.

The Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques, des Postes et de la Distribution de la Presse (ARCEP) previously granted Starlink the right to distribute internet services on two radio frequencies in French territory in February 2021.

However, in light of appeals from two activist groups, the Conseil d’Etat court revoked the decision on grounds of legal misjudgements from ARCEP. In a statement, the court said that the decision “could impact the market of access to high-bandwidth internet and affect the interests of end users.”

It noted that the regulator omitted legally required public hearings prior to granting the licences.

Starlink is now barred from using the frequencies, and is in effect banned from operating in France.

Last month, a Normandy village successfully campaigned against plans to install a Starlink satellite base station with nine antennas 150m away from the nearest house.

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