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NGO seeks case against Musk’s Starlink

NGO Telecom Watchdog has written to the Department of Telecom (DoT) seeking a criminal case be filed against the Elon Musk-owned Starlink, for allegedly charging people in India for satellite Internet services without having a licence for the same.

Alleging that Starlink till now had collected about $1,089,000 from citizens, the NGO asked DoT to issue directions that this money be refunded to users with interest and without any deductions. Last week, the government advised the public not to subscribe to Starlink services being advertised as the company is not licensed to offer satellite-based Internet services in India. “It has come to notice that M/s Starlink has started pre-selling/booking of the satellite based Starlink Internet Services in India. The same is also evident from the website of Starlink wherein satellite based internet services can be booked by users in Indian territory,” the government had said.

The NGO also sought a ‘CVC investigation into the entire episode on how Starlink could launch the pre-booking since February 2021 while DoT officers did not do anything’.

In its letter, the NGO claimed that as per a statement by Starlink’s managing director, the company has collected $99 from 5,000 customers in India. “The figure now stands at a little over 11,000. That means over USD 1,089,000 has been collected by them so far in foreign exchange. This is in gross violation of the RBI guidelines related to end use. No accountability has been fixed for this delay,” the letter added.


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Printable version | Jan 19, 2022 4:25:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/ngo-seeks-case-against-musks-starlink/article37759930.ece

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