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Starlink: there will be no relay station in Normandy or in the North

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Business is not going very well for Starlink in France. The SpaceX subsidiary wanted to set up three relay stations on the territory intended to improve the range and coverage of its internet satellite network, and we have just learned that only the Villenave-d’Ornon station (near Bordeaux ) can finally be put into operation.

A group of inhabitants of Saint-Senier-de-Beuvron has indeed succeeded in making the American giant bend, despite the authorization of ARCEP and a positive ecological impact study (the station would not have had significant harmful effects on the environment of the region). Faced with the prospect of a trial, Starlink therefore preferred to throw in the towel. Another station project at Gravelines in the North has also been abandoned, no doubt again under the pressure of strong local mobilization.

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It should be noted that these defections do not prevent Starlink from operating normally in France, but without relays on the ground, it is legitimate to ask the question of the efficiency of the Starlink network when millions of users will be subscribed to the service almost everywhere. in the world. Remember that the Starlink network is especially useful for obtaining average speeds (downlink) of 150 mbps in white areas where 10 mbps are far from being achieved and where there is no fiber installation plan in a near future. It is difficult to complain about the technological divide between cities and the countryside when technologies to open up the network are refused for reasons often unrelated to scientific and/or environmental data.

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