In an effort to get policymakers to support its satellite broadband business, Starlink, owned by Elon Musk, said on Sunday it would focus on 10 rural constituencies in Lok Sabha for 80% of Starlink terminals shipped in India.
Starlink’s Country Director for India, Sanjay Bhargava, said in a social media post: “In October, I also want to have 30-minute virtual conversations with MPs, ministers, Indian government secretaries ( Government of India) or Senior Secretaries of States to see if they think 100% broadband would help improve lives. We will probably focus on 10 rural Lok Sabha constituencies for 80% of the Starlink terminals shipped to India. Bhargava was appointed head of Starlink for India just three days ago.
Starlink’s decision to pre-book customers has been reviewed as the company has not yet taken out the licenses to offer services. In addition, the Center has not yet announced the policy for satellite communication services.
Delhi-based NGO Telecom Watchdog wrote to the Telecommunications Ministry on September 29, comparing Starlink asking customers to deposit 7,350 yen per person, so that they can be served on a first come, first served basis at a Ponzi scheme.
Recently, Bhargava announced that Starlink was aiming to start operations from December, with more than 2 lakh of active terminals. Starlink, which had opened pre-orders from March for customers to enter the priority queue, crossed 5,000 pre-orders as of October 1. Starlink believes that customers who file the filing will help the company on the licensing and regulatory front.
A former Paypal executive, Bhargava said he would engage with CEOs of major telecom, banking, financial services, healthcare, education and NGO companies to refine the plan from 100% to broadband and real measurable results (MeTRO) to improve people’s lives.
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